A bookshop owner has condemned the massive inflation of business rates as his store looks set to close after more than 20 years.

Douglas Jeffers, who runs My Back Pages in Station Road, Balham, claims rates have doubled from £8,000 to £16,000 in the last three years.

Rapidly increasing rates, set by the Treasury, combined with the rise of online retailers like Amazon mean independent bookshops are fast becoming extinct.

The Balham shop was named after the 1964 song by Bob Dylan and opened in 1990 when the country’s economic situation was similar to the present, but rent was far cheaper.

Mr Jeffers said: “When I started out, it was the post-Thatcher era and post depression. There were lots of empty shops around and you could take a risk because rents were so low.”

Mr Jeffers, whose shop was listed in the Guardian’s London’s finest bookshops  in 2008, plans to continue selling his vast stock via Amazon, conceding “you simply can’t compete with them”.

Other bookshops to suffer from rising rates include Bolingbroke Books, in Northcote Road, that closed earlier this year.