You’d be forgiven for thinking that bookshops only ever close down. More than 500 have shut since 2005, leaving fewer than 1,000 in the UK. Yet amid the many doom-and-gloom stories of our country being on the verge of losing all its literary havens is the occasional good news of one not closing, but opening.

A few weeks ago, Assouline opened its stately bookselling doors on Piccadilly, between Hatchards and the flagship Waterstones, and not far from Heywood Hill and Peter Harrington, which opened its Mayfair premises just this summer. Assouline is a French publisher of coffee-table books; Prosper Assouline, who founded the company with his wife, said in a recent interview, ‘We made a decision ten years ago to position our publishing company as a luxury brand.’