Derby

Scarthin Books: Revival at bookshop that 'was close to collapse'

Structural damage Image copyright Scarthin Books
Image caption A joke was made about the shop falling down until "emergency repairs" were needed

An acclaimed bookshop that was in danger of collapsing under the weight of its own books has experienced a huge revival, its manager has said.

Owners of Scarthin Books, in Cromford, Derbyshire, were told in 2015 that "emergency work" was needed to preserve the 150-year-old building.

It prompted a crowdfunding campaign which led to £12,000 being raised by people all over the world.

Manager David Booker said the shop had a 20% sales increase after the appeal.

Image caption Thousands of pounds were raised for the shop

For years staff at Scarthin Books, named one of the best in the world by The Guardian in 2008, were quizzed by customers about how the structure survived under the weight of so many books.

Image caption Steel columns were installed to strengthen the shop's structure

The notion was laughed off until spring 2015, when they were told by a structural engineer that there was a serious risk the building could fall down unless urgent repairs were made.

Thousands of pounds were raised within days of an appeal and enough was left to make further external repairs and conduct a restructuring of the shop.

Image caption David Booker said the shop has experienced a resurgence following the attention

"The response was amazing," said Mr Booker.

"It was a catalyst for the resurgence of the bookshop... sales increased by 20% which is phenomenal for independent bookshop.

"There is just a real buzz and sense of excitement about the shop."

Image caption The shop has a number of maze like room with wall to wall books

Four steel columns were installed, replacing temporary builder's "acrow props" which had previously been used, to help support the weight of about 100,000 books over four floors.

The extra money was used to add new shelving and repair the building's gable end.

More on this story