A TOWN faces losing its only book store when its owner retires in January.

Jon Carpenter of Evenlode Books in Charlbury is hoping someone in the town will step forward to take on the store, but has so far not had any offers.

It comes as other store owners raised concerns about the state of independent book retailers in Oxfordshire.

Since 2009 at least four independent stores have shut, including the Jericho Bookshop in Walton Street and Booklover in Paradise Street, Oxford which closed as a shop in 2012, but continues as an online store.

ROX Traders’ Association spokesman Graham Jones said traders had been affected by online shops. He said: “It has been very difficult for bookstores in the county to compete with places like Amazon.”

Mr Carpenter opened his store on April Fools’ Day, 2000.

The 69-year-old said: “I would like to see someone come and take it on because I know it is a reason why some people move here, knowing there is a book shop in the town.”

He has suggested people could take it on as a “co-operative” or users could pay a subscription fee to access books.

Charlbury town councillor Richard Fairhurst said it would be a “great shame” if it closed.

He said: “It is difficult to find a book store which isn’t suffering from the “Amazon effect” but people in the town love having this book store here and we know they are keen to see it keep going.”

Owner of St Philip’s Books in St Aldate’s, Oxford, Christopher Zealley said: “Oxford is a place where visitors traditionally come to for second hand books.”

But Roger Barnes, co-owner of Church Green Books in Witney, said his store had managed to survive by adapting the business.

He said: “We used to sell a lot of books quite cheaply but we have targeted the rare and antique books now which sell between £500-£1,000 that are less likely to be found on the internet.”