The owner of an independent bookshop in a Suffolk town has described the opening of her new, larger store as "the best day ever." 

Kate Harris, who has run Harris & Harris Books in Clare for more than 10 years, officially opened at 3a High Street, just doors from her former shop at 7b, on Saturday. 

The new building, the former Hudgies Hardware shop which underwent more than a year of renovations in preparation for the move, will allow more space for books as well as areas for seated events including book readings. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Kate Harris outside the new Harris & Harris Books storeKate Harris outside the new Harris & Harris Books store (Image: Kate Harris)

Ms Harris, who lives just outside of Clare, said of Saturday's opening: "It was like a big tidal wave and the shop was absolutely rammed from about 10am until 4pm. 

"The opening was absolutely beyond expected. It was jolly, it was vibrant and lots of books were sold. It was just the best day ever." 

Ms Harris worked in three chain bookshops and one independent bookshop as a bookseller before launching Harris & Harris Books in 2011. 

East Anglian Daily Times: Inside the new, larger Harris & Harris BooksInside the new, larger Harris & Harris Books (Image: Kate Harris)

Her shop sells new and old books of all genres for all ages and also offers bespoke personal shopping for gifts, as well as next day orders. 

She said of the move: "While there was a lot of love for my previous little shop, it is where it all started for me being my first bookshop with my name over the door, we had outgrown it and everything felt a bit cramped.

"I wanted more space so we could do seated events and have a better space for people to browse." 

East Anglian Daily Times: The new store on opening dayThe new store on opening day (Image: Kate Harris)

East Anglian Daily Times: Kate Harris said the opening day was 'the best day ever'Kate Harris said the opening day was 'the best day ever' (Image: Kate Harris)

Hudgies Hardware closed in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic and the building has been empty since then.

"There is a lot of love for the building in the town. We had a responsibility to look after the building and do things the correct way," Ms Harris said.

"I was nervous of people's reactions to what we have done to it but going by yesterday it was a resounding success. 

"It has got my name above the door, but I want it to be everybody's bookshop."