New independent bookshop opening in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:19 29 January 2020

Shop owner Andrew Marsh outside the property on Ipswich's Dial Lane PICTURE: The Ipswich Society

Shop owner Andrew Marsh outside the property on Ipswich's Dial Lane PICTURE: The Ipswich Society

Andrew Marsh

A new business owner is bucking the trend of closures in the town to sell unique books and plants

Dial Lane Books will be Ipswich's only independent bookshopDial Lane Books will be Ipswich's only independent bookshop

Book lovers, rejoice. Ipswich is soon to be getting its own independent book shop, which promises something for readers of all ages and interests to enjoy. Dial Lane Books will be opening its doors to customers on March 3, and is set to house a wide variety of books, including an extensive children's section alongside other sections dedicated to art, photography, architecture and design, languages and novels.

For shop owner Andrew Marsh, opening a bookstore has been a lifelong ambition. "It's been a real dream of mine since primary school," he says. "I've always been an avid reader, and although it's always been an ambition, I've always managed to put it off by telling myself "maybe one day in the future..." but then I realised that really the future is now and I just had to go for it."

The first floor will be used for open mic events, poetry readings and book signingsThe first floor will be used for open mic events, poetry readings and book signings

After visiting a number of empty shops around Ipswich, Andrew decided on the Dial Lane property, as the two-storey building provided him with plenty of space. The ground floor will be dedicated to books, while the first floor will be used as an events space, hosting regular poetry readings and book signings, along with other bookish gatherings. Since picking up the keys to the shop, Andrew has been hard at work transforming the space, sourcing artwork for the walls and placing orders for books.

"I got the keys on December 2, and since then I've been in there painting and getting things ready, getting bespoke shelving made and setting up orders," Andrew explains. "We also have some bespoke pieces of artwork on the walls, from some really talented local artists. I've never run my own business before so it's certainly a challenge, but it's an exciting one. Every day is bringing new challenges but I'm really chomping at the bit to get going."

Shop owner Andrew Marsh inside the Dial Lane propertyShop owner Andrew Marsh inside the Dial Lane property

Travel lovers are also in for a treat at Dial Lane Books, as the shop is set to be a travel hub for Lonely Planet, and will boast a large travel section complete with guide books and nature writing. Alongside the wide variety of books lining its shelves, Dial Lane Books will also be selling a selection of plants, all grown by Andrew himself.

"I've discovered that I'm quite green-fingered and so I thought I'd put this to good use and sell some plants in the shop as and when I have them. Plants and books look lovely together too, so it should make for a really nice shopping experience for customers coming in for a browse."

The shop will house a wide variety of booksThe shop will house a wide variety of books

Before the official launch day on March 3, Andrew is hoping to host a celebratory soiree on February 28, which will give people a chance to come and take a look at the shop, mingle with fellow book lovers and enjoy some entertainment, refreshments and conversation.

"What I've found since being in Ipswich is that everybody is creative in some way, shape or form, and I think that's wonderful. It will be great to be a part of that community with Dial Lane Books and to bring people together in that respect."

Shop owner Andrew MarshShop owner Andrew Marsh

Dial Lane Books is set to open its doors on March 3. You will be able to find the shop on Dial Lane, Ipswich, IP1 1DL.

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