EXCITEMENT is in the air after it was revealed an independent bookshop in Stow could be one of the best in the region.

The Borzoi Bookshop on Digbeth Street has reached the finals of The British Book Awards, where it could be named the best independent bookshop in southwest England.

The bookshop opened over 50 years ago in Stow and was taken over by Sarah Dennis in 2021, who had big ambitions to get The Borzoi Bookshop recognised nationally. 

Three years later, her dreams have already partly come true. 

Cotswold Journal: The team from The Borzoi Bookshop with Clare Balding.The team from The Borzoi Bookshop with Clare Balding. (Image: The Borzoi Bookshop)"I think I am quite ambitious and always wanted the business to do well in the community and on the national scene," she said.

"There is a strong network of independent bookshops, and I wanted to make sure the shop was on the map, but the big priority is to support our local customers.

"It is amazing."

Ms Dennis said the shortlisting may have never happened if it was not for her dedicated store manager, Clare Blick, and the staff. 

"We are an independent business on the High Street and it is hard.

"It is lovely for the team to be recognised for what they do, and they deserve it.

"Clare and the team do an excellent job. They are a core part of the Stow community and we have been building relationships with them."

Ms Dennis decided to take over the Stow bookshop - which is one of two stores she owns - when she left her job in finance.

She had an epiphany and wanted to do what she loved and decided to work with books.

"Oh my goodness, if we won, it would be so exciting.

"Just to get recognised in the finals is amazing and it really is to think about what we have done over the past year."

The Borzoi Bookshop will need to win the southwest of England region to be put forward for the overall national prize.

The team will now attend a glistening award ceremony at Grosvenor House London on May 13, where they will find out if they have won.