A CENTURY old book shop has managed to stay afloat during the pandemic thanks to an online platform and its customers’ determination to shop local.

Sam Read Bookseller in Grasmere joined Bookshop.org in November last year and has seen a new stream of readers directed to its shelves.

The platform is designed to support local bookshops and help them compete against larger online retailers.

"It has been successful," said owner, Elaine Nelson.

"Because we've been trading for such a long time we've got thousands of fans all over the world so they were able to look at what we had and buy remotely."

After the first lockdown the shop was able to reopen in July with restrictions in place, meaning the number of customers had to be reduced- which impacted on sales.

However, Ms Nelson said more people were buying books once in store, with many wishing to support the local business.

Sam Read Bookseller staff member, Will Smith, signed the business up to the scheme and created the online shop.

“The collective approach to Bookshop.org appealed to us from the beginning,” he said.

“The ecosystem of indie bookshops has required more support for some time, and the arrival of this platform has meant vital support during a challenging period.

“Sam Read’s, like many Cumbrian bookshops, benefits from seasonal visitors to the region, so Bookshop.org provides a brilliant way to support indies to make sure they’re there for when you want them.”

The business is currently busy packaging up pre-orders of Hannah Jackson's (The Red Shepherdess) new book 'Call me Red: A Shepherd’s Journey.'