In just three or four years, the majority of alternative and radical bookshops disappeared as city centre shops become too expensive. Independent politically orientated shops we at Godhaven Ink supplied in the late 90s in Nottingham, Glasgow, Newcastle, London, Sheffield, Lancaster, Coventry, Manchester and Brighton are all gone.
There are still several out there doing a fine job - Green Leaf in Bristol, Housmans in London and News From Nowhere in Liverpool are all carrying the standard.
Whilst they do offer mail-order, the fact is that those who aren't fortunate enough to live near such a shop are under-supplied when it comes to radical and political literature.
So it's with a glad heart that I learn of Alternative Bookshop Online, a new site that makes available the publications that the mainstream bookselling chains don't stock. You order online using a secure system, and the publishers dispatch your orders directly to you.
The catalogue is being continually updated and expanded so look again if at first you can't find the material you want. They actively encourage readers to participate in the development of the service - if you've any suggestions on what they should stock and comment on texts that you have purchased let them know.
The more people know about and use this service, the more it can grow and become more comprehensive in the range of publications it offers and keep independent radical publishing alive.