This is a bonus episode, for Saturday the 24th April, 2021, which in the US is Independent Bookstore Day! As most of you know, I work part-time in a lovely bookshop on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, and I thought it would be fun to interview my boss, Laurie Gillman, who founded the shop five years ago, to talk about what goes into starting and running a bookshop. 

Laurie and I talked about what makes East City Bookshop special, some fun stories she has of hanging out with a few British authors, the challenges of the last year, her advice for anyone wanting to start a bookshop, and a whole lot more.

You can listen to the episode here,

or Spotify, or iTunes,

or wherever else you get your podcasts.

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Books Mentioned on the Podcast:

Buy all the books available in the UK from Bookshop UK here

Buy all the books from Bookshop US here


Tin Man, by Sarah Winman (US / UK & Worldwide)

How to Stop Timeby Matt Haig (US / UK & Worldwide)

Little, by Edward Carey (US / UK & Worldwide)

A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance, by Hanif Abdurraqib (US / UK & Worldwide)

Mary Jane, by Jessica Anya Blau (US / UK & Worldwide)

Creatures of Passage, by Morowa Yejidé (US / UK & Worldwide)

Revival Season, by Monica West (US / UK & Worldwide)

The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris (US / UK & Worldwide)

Once There Were Wolves, by Charlotte McConaghy (US / UK & Worldwide)

Migrations, by Charlotte McConaghy (US / UK & Worldwide)

Children Under Fire: An American Crisis, by John Woodrow Cox (US)

A Place Like Mississippi: A Journey Through a Real and Imagined Literary Landscape, by W Ralph Eubanks (US / UK & Worldwide)

Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe (US / UK & Worldwide)


Buy your books from East City Bookshop here!

In the US and now the UK, buy your hardbacks and paperbacks from to support the podcast, as well as independent bookshops!

In other countries, you can support the podcast by using this link to buy from, which ships internationally at inexpensive rates.

Get your first two audiobooks for just $14.99 with the code BRITLIT on

Buy Claire’s novel, Unscripted.

Questions? Comments? Need a book recommendation? Email Claire at


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