One of London’s top independent book shops is set to close

A once-thriving independent book shop supported by best-selling authors will close after months of flagging sales.

Staff at England’s Lane Books in Belsize Park have announced the shop’s imminent closure, thanking customers for their support.

A statement said: “People told us we were brave to open an independent bookshop in a neighbourhood well-served for independent bookshops. They said we were foolish and it seems they were right on both counts.

“Brave and foolish we may have been, but we have also been supported and rewarded by a fantastic community.”

The shop, which hosted monthly book groups, exhibitions and activities for children, is holding a sale until the end of July when it will close.

The shop recently made the Guardian’s list of top independent book shops in London and is owned by the Fergiani family, who also own West End Lane Books in West Hampstead.

Ghassan Fergiani said: “It has been an agonising decision to eventually close the store and not one we took lightly, but we have been losing money month after month.

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“There is just too much competition nowadays and we couldn’t survive in the current climate.” He added: “I am very disappointed, it’s a real shame.”

Since the shop opened two years ago it has welcomed top authors such as Ruth Rendell, Anthony Grenville, David Nicholls and Norman Lebrecht for signing events.

Hampstead author Barbara Bisco read from signed copies of her latest novel, Night Of The Water Spirits, at the shop’s final book-signing on June 21.