Last week, I visited The White Horse, an independent bookshop located in Marlborough’s buzzing and smart high street. It has been an important part of the town’s fabric since 1943 and in its current location since 1949.

At one point, it was briefly in danger of closing, but the current owners rescued it in 2014. The shop was then refurbished and a new, spacious room was added to the rear of the building for events, exhibitions and presentations. It also boasts an art studio.

Offering 25,000 titles in store (and 200,000 online), The White Horse is now a thriving cultural hub, and I left feeling my visit was far too short – I could spend many happy hours exploring its shelves.

When I shared my photos of The White Horse in a Facebook book group, members from around the world commented on how welcoming and cosy it looked.

Many have declared their preference for buying books from such shops, even if it meant spending more than if they shopped online.

Such reactions help explain why independent bookshops are bucking the general trend - despite many other types of stores disappearing from our high streets in recent years, the number of independent bookshops in Britain is growing.

One such bookshop is due to open in Salisbury soon, thanks to Jo Boyley, an experienced and passionate bookseller.

The Rocketship Bookshop at 5 Bridge Street will occupy the same space that was home to Everyman Bookshop and promises to offer not only an expertly curated selection of books for both children and adults, but also to become a place to get involved in a variety of exciting events and clubs.

It is what makes shopping in independent bookshops so special: you feel part of a local community of readers.

Book lovers everywhere understand that supporting high street booksellers is vital – price isn’t everything and you can’t put a price on advice only knowledgeable and friendly staff can provide.

It is also worth spending a bit more, if you can afford it, to make sure a place where you might meet your favourite author, or make new friends, or while away the time pleasurably, not just survives, but flourishes.

It makes the whole city a better, more convivial place to live.

As Ann Patchett, the bestselling novelist, who co-owns Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, said: ‘I opened a bookstore because I didn’t want to live in a city without one.’

By Anna Tuckett