A PAGE-TURNING story of fighting against the surge of e-books has seen Harling’s Books awarded as Trader of the Week.

The store, on Crellin Street, Barrow, was first established in 1956 by its former owner Agnes Harling after she received a stock of books, which she started selling from a pop-up stand.

Terry Bains. 56, of Barrow, now runs the shop with his partner Maureen Davies, 58, after buying the business in 1997 after the death of Mrs Harling.

He said: “It’s always nice to see that our shop is appreciated by the public.

“Originally, the store was a painting and decorating store, where I was an apprentice.

“Mrs Harling would sell books within the store from a pop-up stand.

“The book side of the business would eventually takeover.

“Harling’s Books has had to weather the storm in recent years against the surge of the online world, e-books and tablet devices.

“However, books have, and always will be, more appealing.

“Books are tactile, and visual aesthetics go along way.”

Harling’s Books offers various customer services including a unique exchange program.

“Customers can buy a book for a price and as long as it remains in a reasonable condition, that book can then be exchanged back to us for half price at store credit,” added Mrs Harling.

As well as leading a charge against the e-commerce platforms, the Barrow book shop has had to grapple with the erratic nature of the town’s shopping centre.

Mr Bains said: “I have my partner Maureen to thank for the store’s success.

“Her knowledge of books is second to none.

“We’re also long established, so we have created a great relationship with our regulars over the years.”

Mrs Davies said: “I would say an understanding of the readers market is key.

“Without doubt, crime novels are the most popular.

“Crime readers are always interested in getting their next fix of detective stories.”

Mrs Davies also said she can see the appeal of reading via tablets, but speaking from experience she agreed with her partner that books are here to stay.

She added: “I can see the appeal of Kindles and other tablets, but there’s nothing better than the real thing; the texture and smell - you can’t beat it.”