AN INDEPENDENT book shop which has served the city for almost 40 years will close next month due to the rise of Amazon as well as Oxford's high rents and business rates.

The Book House, in South Parade, which first opened in 1979 will close its doors for good on June 16.

The Summertown shop staff said the decision was made with 'great sadness' and added all of its customers would be missed.

Its sister shop in Thame - founded in 1973 initially as The Red House and also owned by well-known bookseller Brian Pattinson - will remain open and will accept any unused loyalty vouchers from the Summertown branch.

The Book House management team revealed the closure on its Facebook page and thanked its customers for their loyalty over the years.

They said: "The Book House would like to thank all our customers for their support over 40 years in Summertown.

"It is with great sadness that we are closing our doors and saying “goodbye” to those friendships we have all formed over those years."

They added: "We will miss you all."

Joint manager Renee Holler said the closure was down to a 'combination of things' such as rents, business rates, the rise of Amazon and a reduction in footfall.

The German-born author told the Oxford Mail in 2015 that it was becoming more difficult for the shop due to the rise in online offers and also the popularity of Kindle - a handheld device for reading books.

Despite saying they would be sticking around for years to come, three years on and the popular long-serving shop will bring an end to its stint on the high street.

Bestselling author Philip Pullman lamented its loss.

He said: "It's a very a sad day for Summertown - it's a fantastic book shop, if I still lived nearby I would be using it the whole time.

"It's sad for Oxford as well which has lost another good book shop to online book selling."

Vienna bookstore Buchhandlung Kunterbuch sent its support and condolences all the way from Austria.

Businesses closer to home also hit out at the difficult climate for independent firms in Summertown upon learning of the bookshop's fate.

Walter Cundy, a partner at vintage furniture shop Liscious Interiors further along South Parade, said: "Summertown is losing all its independent character because of stupid rents and rates.

"Good luck to the Book House folks in Thame."

Owner and manager of Joe's Bar and Grill in Banbury Road, Rob Messiou, said: "Sad to concur - people moan about “clone high streets “ only populated by chains.

"Landlords themselves are much to blame, ever higher rents and upwards only reviews in the face of falling trade plus favouring chains against independents will nail the coffin shut."