A MUCH-LOVED bookshop has proved a change in ownership has done nothing to alter its status as a haven for bookworms.

Mostly Books in Abingdon has been shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year in the 2018 British Book Awards, known as the Nibbies.

The annual awards honour and celebrate the commercial successes of publishers, authors and bookshops.

Sarah Dennis, who took over the popular Stert Street shop last year, said: “The nomination is a huge honour and a great reflection of all the hard work undertaken by the team in 2017. It was a year of change for Mostly Books so it’s wonderful to receive recognition of this from the book trade.”

Mark and Nicki Thornton, who opened the Stert Street book shop in 2006, officially passed on the keys to Ms Dennis in June.

The Chipping Norton resident previously worked in a Waterstones book shop, but spent much of her career as a project manager in finance. Though a relative newcomer to the trade, she dreamt of opening her own bookstore after being inspired by one in Scotland.

She said: “This time last year I was working at Mostly Books and now 12 months later to get this nomination is amazing.

“It can always be a bit of a risky thing taking over a business because people tend to like things to stay the same.

“What I’ve tried to do is build on what Nicki and Mark did but freshen things up and put my own spin on the business.”

This has meant a complete revamp of the inside of the book shop, including a mural in the children’s reading area by local illustrator David Melling, as well as working more closely with local schools and hosting more author events. Mostly Books have been shortlisted as one of the regional finalists in the South East, alongside four others. Only one bookshop from each regional category moves into the final shortlist, the winner of which will be announced at the award ceremony in May. To help the Abingdon shop move on to the next stage of the shortlist visit thebookseller.com/tell-us-about-your-favourite-independent-bookshop