AS World Book Day festivities sweep across the nation, one local book retailer finds itself grappling with the possibility of closing down. 

Robert and Kim Turnbull have been running Reiver Reads from inside Carlisle's Market Hall for around nine months. 

The independent bookshop is edging towards closure due to dwindling foot traffic and sales - problems that are facing many of their colleagues in the building. 

"I'm simply not getting enough people through the door," Robert said. 

"I live in Hexham, commuting four days a week. I can't keep it going for the sake of making £25 a day if I'm lucky.

"As much as I love the job, I'm getting up at quarter to six in the morning and getting in at half seven, it's just not viable," he said. 

If things don't turn around quickly, making at least '£40/£50 per day', Robert will be forced to continue his business with an online presence only. 

"The frustrating thing is when it does work, it works brilliantly. When Cumbria Pride was on, it was heaving - it's just not consistent that's the problem.

"I don't want to give the market up, my support network here is wonderful.

"I've got masses of support but I need the physical sales, I can't run it on fumes and goodwill," he said. 

Despite efforts to attract customers through various initiatives like discounts, bargain buckets, selling on Vinted and even starting a book club, the shop continues to struggle.

The duo hopes to revamp their shelves in the coming weeks and introduce a reading nook as a last-ditch effort to keep their beloved presence on the site. 

The possible closure of Reiver Reads would decrease the number of traders in the market to approximately 19.

Their frustrations are carried by many of the traders who feel they are being left to fend for themselves following an abrupt '50 per cent service charge' from property management firm, Ryden, as well as a perceived lack of communication including from the building's owners, Cumberland Council. 

"This morning we've come in to find the road being dug up on Scotch Street without being informed, I feel like we're being kicked in the teeth.

"Personally, I feel the council and Ryden do not care. 

"Ryden's service charge will be the death knell for a lot of businesses here," he said. 

In an announcement last month, Cumberland Council stated its support for the survival of Carlisle's Market Hall. 

"As the owner of the building we want to see the market thrive and be a success. Therefore we have been in discussion with the traders and the managing agents to help get any issues resolved as quickly as possible," they said. 

Previously, a spokesperson from Ryden said: "We are actively engaged in conversations with our clients, the owners of Carlisle Market Hall, at this moment.

"We are not in a position to comment further but we will continue to deal with occupier queries as required."