A SERIES of podcasts are being staged to help an Ilkley bookshop weather the coronavirus crisis.

Podcaster and Ilkley resident Andrea Hardaker has been holding weekly sessions with Mike Sansbury from The Grove Bookshop.

She said: “I was aware that, with the store being forced to close, local businesses would be affected and I wanted to do something to help.

“I was particularly concerned about The Grove because it’s so easy for people to switch over to Amazon to buy books. When Lockdown first started, Mike was able to post books out to locals but I think within the second week, that was no longer the case so I thought, if we spoke each week about books we’d read and loved, it might encourage people to make a reading list, for when the shop reopened.

“It’s been an interesting journey. We’ve spoken about books full of hope, books we didn’t expect to like but loved, poetry, fiction from around Europe and covered the lesser known books set around World War Two to mark VE Day. We are aware that not everyone reads fiction, so have tried to vary our content. Last week we chose three non fiction books each to discuss.”

She added: “It’s so nice to have a bookshop on our doorstep and I think the shop chooses their books so well. It’s part of the town’s identity, especially with the Literature Festival based here.

“I look forward to it reopening in some form or another - it’s a small space so we will have to be mindful but I’m sure Mike will come up with some creative solutions to make it work for everyone.”

The Bookshop podcasts are available at

https://soundcloud.com/user-932230944 or by searching Bletherin’ Skite on Soundcloud.