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Independent bookshop numbers have fallen by more than a quarter since 2006 according to official figures released by the Booksellers’ Association, which is calling for immediate action to reverse the “stark” decline.

The trade body says that it had 1,483 independent bookseller members in June 2006, with the number falling by 26% to 1,099 by June 2011. There has also been a “marked drop-off” in the number of bookshops opening, with just 23 new stores joining the Booksellers’ Association so far this year, compared with 50 in 2010.

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