LINGHAMS Bookshop in Heswall is the place to be if you want your new book signed by the author.

Sue Porter took over the popular place in 2015 and the business has gone from strength to strength – even during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here, Sue tells us what it’s like welcoming stars from stage and screen to her Telegraph Road shop and shares the secrets of her success.

If you would like to appear in our Trader of the Week or Business of the Week feature, email

What’s the name of the business?

Linghams Bookshop

What’s the address?

248 Telegraph Road, Heswall, Wirral CH60 7SG

Are you the owner/manager?

I’m the owner

When did you open the business?

I opened the business in 2015.

Linghams Bookshop is on Telegraph Road in Heswall

Linghams Bookshop is on Telegraph Road in Heswall

Are you local to the area? Did you grow up here?

I am local to the area, yes.

Tell me a bit about your business

Linghams is a bookshop with a café. We specialise in signed copies, for both adults and children. We also bring lots of authors to the area and host book talks and signings. We have had Gary Barlow, Taylor Jenkins Reid and Jamie Carragher as well as Michael Palin, Craig Revel Harwood and Kate Humble to name a few.



The sweet smell of success for Birkenhead business


What do you do? What services do you provide?

We offer recommendations for customers so that new books can find their way into readers’ hands. Author signing and events are for adults and children and we can offer events for schools too. We take authors into schools so that children can meet them and talk to them as well as buy a signed book. Our lovely coffee shop in the book shop is the perfect place to read the first few pages of the new book you’ve just purchased.

Linghams Bookshop regularly hosts book signings and book clubs for adults and children

Linghams Bookshop regularly hosts book signings and book clubs for adults and children

Why did you decide to open your own business?

We were living on the Isle of Wight and decided to move back home to the Wirral. Linghams was up for sale so, after lots of research and visits to local bookshops in the northwest together with training courses in London, we decided to take the plunge. It has been a wonderful journey with a great team and wonderful customers.

What’s your business background?

I worked for 25 years with the local authority investigating fraud and leading a team of investigators on the Isle of Wight.

Why this type of business?

I’ve always had a passion for reading – I love the feel and smell of a book. This job has had real ‘pinch me moments’ - meeting my favourite authors and reading books which I wouldn’t normally have read.



Birkenhead business has the perfect recipe for sweet success


The coffee shop is the perfect place to take time out

The coffee shop is the perfect place to take time out

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect your business?

Covid was a shocker for all high street businesses. I furloughed my staff but I kept working behind the scenes posting books out to customers. I also set up At Home with 4 Indies - an online events business with three other independent bookshops. We hosted more than 550 events worldwide on Facebook and Zoom during the lockdowns. Authors such as Graham Norton, Ken Folett and Marian Keyes as well as Frank Cotrell Boyce and Lenny Henry joined in. We hosted school events and streamed these to more than 10,000 children in the UK.

What makes your business different to others in the same area/field? What sets your business apart from your competitors?

I think all bookshops have their own place as each one will curate different titles and will bring their own unique selling point to their shop. We all have one thing in common though – we love books! That can only be a good thing.

Events are scheduled at the shop right through until the end of April

Events are scheduled at the shop right through until the end of April

Why do loyal customers return to your business?

Loyalty is very important to us and we are one big tribe. We know a lot of customers by name and know which books to recommend. We always welcome new readers and new customers and make sure we allow them time to browse.

What’s next? What do the next few months hold for you and your business?

I am hoping the high street improves and customers keep shopping locally – that’s crucial to all small businesses and a successful future. We are constantly looking at new authors to invite to Wirral and we have adult and children’s book clubs running too.