A BRIDGWATER bookshop has been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The Snug Bookshop in East Quay is one of five bookshops in the South West to be shortlisted for the 2021 Independent Bookshop of the Year Award

The coronavirus pandemic has seen independent bookshops up and down Britain and Ireland completely transform their operations to get books into the hands of readers.

From bicycle deliveries to local customers to booksellers rapidly building new e-commerce platforms, businesses have adapted to serve their customers.

Sam Carr, owner of The Sung Bookshop, said she is ‘absolutely thrilled and very overwhelmed’ to have been shortlisted for the award.

“The bookshop couldn’t have survived last year without a lot of support from the community and I’m so grateful,” Sam said.

“The criteria of the award this year focused on the innovation and imagination of trading during the pandemic, with a strong focus on local trading, helping local communities and diversity and inclusivity.

“I really think our Fill a Bookshelf Scheme helped us to stand out.

“To date we have been able to deliver more than 200 new books into local schools, thanks to the generosity of customers - from all over the UK.

“This year will sadly be the first year we’ve not been able to open for World Book Day on March 4, but schools can get in touch for virtual author visits and parents can email or call to spend their vouchers.”

The Snug Bookshop was named New Business of The Year at Sedgemoor Business Excellence Awards in 2020 and Sam said she is hopeful for the future.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller’s managing editor, said: “Last year was a difficult for the entire books trade but indie booksellers were perhaps at very sharpest end of the pandemic.

“Yet, as we can see by 48 entries on the Independent Bookshop of the Year shortlists, indies tackled the coronavirus restrictions with vigour, creativity and innovation.”