A family-owned independent book shop has celebrated 21 years of business.

Cogito Books on 5 St Mary's Chare, in Hexham, celebrated its 21st Birthday on Saturday, May 14, and welcomed its customers to join in with a piece of birthday cake.

Owner of the shop, Claire Grint said: "It was so lovely to hear people reminiscing about their experiences of the bookshop and the books they have discovered here.

"I spoke to several people who remembered when we first opened!

"That’s one of the wonderful things about Hexham, and it’s such a pleasure to serve that community and be part of it.

Cogito Books has been in Claire’s family since the day it opened on May 12 in 2001, in a tiny upstairs nook on Meal Market in Hexham.

When it outgrew its premises, Cogito moved to its current location at 5, St Mary’s Chare in October 2002, and staff moved all the books by a human chain.

"One of the best things about having been here 21 years is the sense of continuity and seeing people’s lives unfold", says Claire.

"It’s lovely to see customers we remember as children bringing their own children in and introducing them to books."

"We have four thriving book groups as well as working with schools and young people.

"Cogito continues to be a mainstay of the local community and looks forward to many more years of welcoming people through its doors."