Former tax lawyer has high hopes for Village Bookshop in Woodford Green

A former tax lawyer is taking over a Woodford Green bookshop to turn it into a “literary hub” for the community.

Saba Rais already works in the Village Bookshop, in High Road, and will become the owner when it changes hands later this month.

She left her 12-year City career to pursue her passion for books and publishing and is writing her first novel while studying for a masters degree in creative writing.

Saba is planning events, talks, workshops and even a literary festival for the shop.

She said: “One of the things I want to really promote is literacy in children, working in conjunction with the schools and libraries.

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“It’s very exciting.”

Current owner Tan Dhillon, 39, said he was sad to give up the bookshop, which he has run for less than a year.

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The father-of-two, who lives in Thurrock, said he reluctantly decided to move on for family reasons.

He added: “I’ve greatly improved the shop and it’s been a great challenge for me.

“I will miss our customers, they’re like extended family.”

The shop will change hands in the next two weeks, when the sale of greetings cards and comics will stop.

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