The Balham resident continuing his father's bookshop legacy

  Posted: 26.01.21 at 12:42 by Kurt Robson

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A Balham resident’s new book delivery business has launched with huge success around the community.

My Back Pages is an online bookstore that allows residents to buy vintage books and collections delivered straight to their door.

Owner Jake Jeffers, the son of former bookshop owner Douglas Jeffers, has carried on his father’s legacy and created a store that is able to operate through the unpredictability of coronavirus.

Jake’s affinity for books began as a child when he’d help his dad in their Balham bookshop of the same name, My Back Pages.

Jake told Nub News: “I used to work there a fair bit when I was younger, so have a natural affinity for books and what people like to read.”

The pair had a go at opening a bookshop in Earlsfield called Turn The Page, but this closed in 2016.

The two bookshops had been selling some of their stock online while they were in operation, so Jake took this over as a side project when Turn The Page closed.

The ramp-up in online selling began out of ‘necessity’ according to Jake.

Jake said: “A by-product of selling rarer and collectible stuff online is that you find lots of good books not valuable enough to be worth listing.

“So I used to box this stuff up and sell it off to a few bookshops around London by the boxload. Of course, this all stopped when shops had to close.

“So it started out of necessity really. Books not valuable enough to sell online, but too good to throw away.”

This is when Jake decided to set up the Instagram account and push for a stronger online presence.

“I was thinking there must be loads of readers bored at home right now, so what better time to start a little community bookshop on Instagram,” Jake added.

The Instagram account grew 1000 followers within its second day and messages of support flooded in for Jake.

Jake said: “Loads of lovely messages from former customers of the Balham shop too that was really nice, and I've been relaying to my dad. But yeah business has been good so far. Keeping me nice and busy.”

Jake hopes that his books will help with people’s loneliness and boredom during lockdown.

“I think the fact that it's locally run rather than buying facelessly online is a nice touch, and hopefully people feel a little less alienated as consumers.

“A lot of people have been choosing to collect their books while out on their daily walk, so it's also nice to see a new face and have a little chat.”

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