Small is beautiful for island book launch

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HE WAS the UK's biggest selling author of the 1990s, and has sold more than 55 million books worldwide.

Now Terry Pratchett, famous for his Discworld novels, is heading to Hayling Island to launch his new book Nation at one of the smallest bookshops in the country.

On September 13 he'll first travel to Hayling Island Bookshop where he'll spend two hours signing books, before heading up to London to Waterstone's Piccadilly store.

At just over three metres square, the Hayling Island bookshop is the smallest bookshop on an island in the UK while Waterstone's Piccadilly has 5,000 metres square of shop space, making it the biggest in the British Isles.

The two 'island' bookshops were chosen as Nation is set on a small desert island and challenges ideas of cultural identity, nationhood and the history of civilisation.

Colin Telford, from Hayling Island Bookshop, said it was quite a coup for the small independent store.

He said: 'It's a huge honour to be selected to host Terry Pratchett. He's so well liked worldwide and he's a personal favourite of mine.

'This really came out of the blue. They were looking for the smallest bookshop on an island as his new book is set on an island. They wanted to do a bit of a quirky launch. So after we sent in our measurements we found out we were accepted.'

Three Pratchett books can be signed at the launch. One is The Folklore of Discworld, the second is Nation, which is a non-Discworld novel, while the third will be a limited edition copy of Nation only available at launches.

There will be 200 free tickets for the launch with Pratchett fans being brought into the snug bookshop in groups of 10 at a time.

The tickets will be available from today by application in person or by calling The Hayling Island Bookshop on (023) 9246 6620.

Further details will be released in August.