Independent Bert’s Books store opens in Swindon

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A queue of eager readers awaited Alex Call on the bank holiday Monday morning as he opened his new independent bookstore to customers for the first time.

Bert’s Books now operate from Godwill Court in the Old Town after building up an excellent online reputation.

Owner Alex prides himself on selling lesser-known titles alongside best-selling books.

Customers of all ages flocked to the store after it officially opened at 10.30am.

“It’s been good, it’s been busy,” owner Alex Call told The Adver when we visited the store.

“My biggest fear was no one showing up or everyone showing up.”

A line had already started to form outside the store before it opened and a steady stream of people followed.

The small store was packed with customers browsing the shelves or drinking coffee and eating cakes on the benches inside.

Swindon announcer:

“We had a bit of a nightmare with the coffee machine this morning, but it’s back and working again now,” Alex said.

Bert’s Books opened online in 2019, offering book bundles suitable for all types of readers.

Each month, Alex sifts through all the new book releases to choose the best for each batch.

Customers can choose to get one-time packages or as a monthly subscription.

They can also choose a set by genre, but also by author, such as Robin Hobb and Anne Rice.

Alex then launched a GoFundMe page with the aim of generating money so he could open a physical version of his online store.

Although he only managed to raise £2,400 instead of the £10,000 he was aiming for, they still managed to open the store.

In February 2022, Alex announced to his 15,000 Twitter followers that he had collected the keys to his new accommodation in the Old Town.

Fans have shared their excitement and have received regular updates from Alex since, including when he received 60 boxes of books and two beanbags for his new store.

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