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Kirkdale Bookshop is probably the oldest independent bookshop in South East London, opening in 1966 under the ownership of Alec Cox and his daughter Geraldine. In October 2006 the shop celebrated its 40th birthday in style with a big party for its loyal customers. It has gradually expanded over the years, so that now it has an extensive range of new and second-hand books over two floors. In 2002 a small art gallery was built, adding a new dimension to the shop. Kirkdale Bookshop hosts regular book signings with local authors as well as book focused events. In July 2008, for example, they held seven events over eight days as part of Independent Booksellers' Week. These varied from readings to an absinthe evening and included special storytimes, an open art exhibition and a fabulous beach party complete with palm trees and deckchairs.
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