Go into the history sections of most major bookshops and look for social history, oral history, working-class history.
You will find very little between the military histories and lives of monarchs. Some general social histories, maybe – but most of them give little space to the the people who actually built the cities, fought for an 8 hour day, suffered poverty, and made the modern teenager.
News From Nowhere Bookshop is different. This independent bookshop on Liverpool’s bohemian Bold St. is a not-for-profit community business. They have a policy of taking the kinds of books other booksellers turn their noses up at. And they’ll supply any book for you – if it’s in print – regardless of whether you live in Liverpool or not, through mail-order.
We’ve bought many books there for this project. Just going in and taking a look around gives us more ideas. This is where we discovered Lynsey Hanley’s excellent book Estates: An Intimate History (she grew up on one). It’s where we found out about the Belle Vale reminiscence group in Liverpool. The friendly staff really know their stuff, unlike some of the harassed staff in the bigger bookstores.
What’s more, News from Nowhere supplied the space for our exhibition in 2008 (see below for photos).
Why the plug? Sadly, News from Nowhere is under threat, due to this recession. We know times are hard for everyone (unless you’re one of the fat cats) but if you can, please support this bookshop, because they’ve supported us. http://www.newsfromnowhere.org.uk