LETTER OF THE DAY: Fingers crossed popular bookshop is saved

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I am writing to express my dismay at the news that Blackwell’s the only bespoke bookshop at the University of Portsmouth is likely to close on the December 22 (‘It would be a real blow to culture... ’; City bookshop is set to close unless new premises are found within weeks, Dec 6).

As with every academic, I believe that access to a bookshop, where it is possible to handle and assess books first-hand, should be an essential part of life for everyone – not simply those in Higher Education.

I cannot understand why a university with more than 22,000 students and a Gold Rating on the Teaching Excellence Framework is unable to provide a quality location for an extremely important facility in academic life.

Blackwell’s provides support for students and beyond by offering high-level advice, quality products and knowledgeable and committed staff, thus promoting books in the wider community.

In facilitating book launches and writers’ events it is creating a superb hub extending lifelong learning, which is to be applauded.

Jo West, the manager, is knowledgeable and forward thinking and her loss would be a tragedy as she contributes in a wide range of ways to reading, writing and learning in Portsmouth.

I am absolutely astounded that such a prominent group of academics, striving for excellence in learning, believe that they and their students can achieve this without a high-quality bookshop facility on site.

Wake up University of Portsmouth!

Act decisively before it is too late...

Christine Allison

Wilton Drive, Horndean