Next chapter begins in the unique story of Mr. Books

    THE new owner of Tonbridge’s only independent book store has revealed his ambitious plans for the shop’s future.

    Phil Holden, 55, has lived in the town for the past 20 years with his family. He officially took ownership of Mr Books on the High Street in mid-July after taking an early retirement from teaching at the University of Greenwich.

    The store has been a feature of the town since it first opened in 2005, and Mr Holden fully intends to continue the legacy left by previous owner Mark Richardson.

    “Mr Books is an institution in Tonbridge, and my hope is that it could play an even bigger role in the community,” he told the Times.

    “We are looking at doing author events, perhaps space for a local writers’ or poetry group. I like the idea of reading the Just William books, if parents wanted to bring their children along.

    “We could have a very simple coffee and tea service, perhaps a glass of wine in the evening. I want it to be a meeting place in the town.”

    One of his first steps toward that goal comes on Saturday [Aug 12], as he starts his open weekend ‘to invite people in, have a drink and say hello’.