New Beacon Books
Last week I visited New Beacon Books for the first time and I am ashamed of myself. This is shameful. It’s shameful because I have walked up and down Stroud Green road 1000 times. I’ve bought hair products from Paks (another source of discomfort), met friends for coffee, shopped in the vintage furniture shop and had dinner, drinks and everything in between along this road. But never had I ever been to New Beacon Books
What’s crazier is that I didn’t event know it was there. It was only when someone tweeted about an event taking place at the shop a few months ago that I realised it existed.
In fact, I was so embarrassed, I didn’t even take any pictures in the shop. I couldn’t risk exposing myself as a first timer. Images of the shop are courtesy of the New Beacon Books Instagram page.
I bought three books whilst I was there. First was one for my friend’s daughters and about children who had done incredible things, think Malala Yousafzai. They’re far too young for this book at the moment, but hope it’s something they’ll enjoy in the next few years. The literature being written for children is incredible and inspiring at this time, I feel like we need to snap them up before they go out of fashion.
They next two were for my little brother. Hey, Black Boy was written by 10 year old Romeo Bremmer and profiles 12 inspirational black men that embody different character traits such as Love, Compassion, Power and Determination. As I explained to my 8 year old brother that this was written by a 10 year old, I could tell he was impressed. As we flicked through and he spotted faces he recognized from MLK to Stormzy his face lit up . The book is already doing it’s job. There’s also a version for girls so check them out for your mini kings and queens.
The second book was The Story of The Windrush. Something I would have loved to have read when I was younger. So much so that I read it before I gave it to him! It explains everything so simply and clearly and taught me a thing or two. I highly recommend this as a tool to help explain a bit of history to the younger generation. There should be copies of this in every school.
New Beacon books opened in 1966 with the aim of celebrating African and Caribbean literature. The shop stood proud on Stroud Green road until February 2017 when it was forced to close temporarily. But the community came out in force, donating time, money and expertise to keep the shop alive and build a website to add a new source of income. With one of my 2019 Goals being to read a book every month, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back there in no time. This space must be kept alive. Read more about the bookshop and it’s history here.