IT'S been described as one of the smallest shops to ever win the prestigious Independent Bookshop of the Year Award, and it’s right here in Penarth.

Griffin Books was announced overall winner of bookshop of the year at The British Book Awards 2023 ceremony at a buzzing Grosvenor House London on Monday, May 15.

Griffin Books had previously been named the country winner in Wales.

This year it fought off strong competition from eight other regional and country winners, selected from a list of 59 finalists from across the UK and the Island of Ireland.

Penarth Times: Owner Mel Griffin. A winner!Owner Mel Griffin. A winner! (Image: Newsquest)

Tom Tivnan, chair of the Independent Bookshop of the Year judges, said Griffin was a special winner.

Mr Tivnan said: “This has been arguably the most competitive Independent Bookshop of the Year with nine incredibly strong regional and country winners, yet Griffin Books caught the judging panel’s eye by going above and beyond.

“It is one of the smallest shops to ever to win this award, but its unceasing innovation means its footprint far exceeds its square footage.

“From its knock-out events stream (including its own literary festival) to subscription services and its online arm, Griffin has consistently demonstrated that its impact stretches far beyond its four walls.

“Above all, Griffin’s local ties - such as its work with schools, charities and even sponsoring a football club - show just how important a bookshop can be to a community.”

Opening its doors in 2014, Griffin Books is a community focused independent bookstore, known for hosting excellent author events, book signings, weekly toddler story time sessions and a number of book clubs for adults, children and teens.

With a speedy online home delivery service, the coastal town staple was praised for its adaptability, emerging from Brexit, the pandemic, and cost-of-living crisis closer to its community and stronger than ever.

Penarth Times: Griffins on Windsor RoadGriffins on Windsor Road (Image: Newsquest)

Ruth Gardner, sales manager for awards sponsor Gardners’ UK, said she hoped to see Griffin grow even further after winning the award.

“We congratulate Griffin books for winning this most coveted award this year and hope they can use the money to enhance their offer to their customers even more,” said Ms Gardner.