BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | NOTTING HILL BOOKSHOP

Our Bookshop of the Month for April is the world-famous Notting Hill Bookshop, renowned for originally specialising in travel books and its interior featuring in the film Notting Hill, with Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts! Fans of the film still regularly visit from all over the world.

The shop is located in the heart of beautiful Notting Hill, minutes from the vibrant Portobello Market. It opened in 1979, and broadened its stock to cover a wider variety of books in 2011. It still has a sizeable travel section, but also now plays host to beautiful gift editions, pocket hardbacks, satin-bound classics, golden gilt leather-bounds and much more! We have a particular soft spot for the children’s section, nestled at the back and waiting to be discovered.

If your in the Notting Hill area, pop in and don’t be surprised if you find yourself losing track of time browsing all that this shop has to offer – you never know what you may find there!

We caught up with owner Olga and asked her a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our April Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe the Notting Hill Bookshop in three words?
Cosy, vibrant, welcoming.

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
Our Weird & Wonderful section full of very strange books indeed!

3. Where do you like to read?
Very, very far from the madding crowd – Richmond Park being the favourite place.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
I would still find a way to become a bookseller!

5. Excluding Notting Hill Bookshop – what is your favourite bookshop?
‘Much Ado Books’ in Alfriston, East Sussex – absolutely charming and full of antiquarian treasures.


You can follow the bookshop on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | DRAKE THE BOOKSHOP

This month’s Bookshop of the Month is Drake the Bookshop – a wonderful, family-run bookshop in Stockton-on-Tees.

Richard, a former Maths teacher, took the leap from teaching to opening the bookshop with his partner, Melanie Greenwood, in September 2016. They started out in a very small space within the local shopping arcade but expanded to nearby Silver Street within their first year.

They are book champions dedicated to promoting reading within their community through book clubs, author events, working with schools and festivals. Within the shop itself the team work hard to provide an eclectic mix of books to reach as many readers as possible, including those with dyslexia (they have a dedicated section), and their children’s area is particularly inviting with an excellent range of titles to choose from, encouraging the browsing and selection process from an early age. We’re also big fans of their 2018 promotion – ‘Space on the Shelf’ celebrating women in print (check out their blog). Next time you’re in the area do pop by to meet the enthusiastic booksellers and passionate reading advocates – I challenge you to leave without buying a book!

We caught up with Richard and Melanie and asked them a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our March Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Drake the Bookshop in three words?
MAKING READING FUN

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
The Children’s Reading Corner (courtesy of James Patterson), it’s where most of the laughs and giggles are

3. Where do you like to read?
Usually in bed, but the comfy chair in the corner of the shop is pretty cool too.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
THIS IS OUR DREAM JOB! We left our other jobs to do this. If we weren’t doing this it would be trying to be ‘The Good Life’ on a small patch of land!

5. Excluding Drake the Bookshop – what is your favourite bookshop?
BARTER BOOKS, ALNWICK – we can get lost in there for days!


You can follow the bookshop on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | CARAVANSÉRAIL

Caravansérail is a gorgeous bilingual bookshop, gallery and cultural space nestled in London’s Brick Lane, which offers a wonderful aray of adult and children’s titles in both French and English. Head there to find your newest read and grab a coffee surrounded by beautiful books, shelving and art. The shop front is spectacular (the blue is so striking and inviting) and their signage and branding is stunning.

Since opening in September 2017, co-owners Laura and Anne have hosted various events featuring authors, artists and musicians, cementing themselves as a hub within the community.

There’s something for everyone in the shop, from a carefully curated selection of cookery titles chosen by a local chef, or the wide range of translated fiction – a focus for Laura.

We caught up with Laura and Anne and asked them a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our February Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Caravansérail in five words?  
A home for hybrid cultures.

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?  
The children’s nook! A place to shelter and escape from the buzz of the city. A perfect spot to read, whether you’re with kids or not.

3. Where do you like to read? 
Anne: in the wilderness! I used to live on the West coast of Canada and my favourite spot to read so far has been in Dorreen – an abandoned mining town in British Columbia that you can only access by train. A heaven lost between mountains, forest and river. Comfortably seated on the porch of a cabin, a steaming mug of coffee in one hand, a book in the other… and not too far away, a bowl of freshly picked blueberries. Sublime!
Laura: nothing beats the combination of reading and fireplace for me, wherever it may be.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be? 
Anne: aside from Caravansérail, I am running an artist residency and an artists agency. Supporting and promoting the work of emerging artists is the cement of these three activities.
Laura: I’d probably be doing something in publishing.

5. Excluding Caravansérail – what is your favourite bookshop?   
Anne: I love browsing the beautiful bookshops in the Quartier latin in Paris – a day well spent!
Laura: without hesitation Daunt Books, Marylebone.


Caravansérail can be found at:
5 Cheshire St
London
E2 6ED

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BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | THE MAINSTREET TRADING COMPANY

Our December Bookshop of the Month 2017 is The Mainstreet Trading Company who have been celebrating ten years since they transformed a former auction house into a destination venue in the picturesque Scottish Border village of St Boswell’s (brown tourist sign included!).

Bookshop interior overhead 2016

We highly recommend that you visit and spend a few blissful hours here – there is something to tempt everyone. Mainstreet boasts a gorgeous home store and a wonderfully inviting deli, but at its heart is the beautiful bookshop and café. After admiring their magnificent window displays (check out their archive here), you will walk in and be greeted by the unmistakeable aroma of books and coffee, there’s nothing quite like it. You will see crisp white shelves, carefully curated tables and stunning displays that will entice you into browsing, and there is always a bookseller on hand should you need recommendations or help finding a title. Be sure to check out their specialist Children’s and Cookery areas.

Mainstreet is a bookshop that would be hard to leave empty handed, and why would you when you can choose your book (or several!), settle in to the café with a cuppa, crack the spine and begin. Go on, you know you want to…

We caught up with owner Rosamund de la Hay to ask her a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our December Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe The Mainstreet Trading Company in three words?
Welcoming, enthusiastic, knowledgeable.

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store? 
The Book Burrows (or the new books till with our beautiful new wooden counter!)

3. Where do you like to read?
In the sun room at home or on a beach on the west coast of Scotland (ideally not in the rain)

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
I’d almost certainly revert to being a publisher as in my past life.

5. Excluding The Mainstreet Trading Company – what is your favourite bookshop?
Tricky one, there are so many lovely ones!  Either The Golden Hare in Edinburgh or Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath.


The Mainstreet Trading Company can be found at:
Mainstreet
St Boswells
Scottish Borders
TD6 0AT

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | THE KEW BOOKSHOP

The Kew Bookshop

This month’s Bookshop of the Month is the gorgeous The Kew Bookshop. The shop’s outward façade stands out beautifully on the leafy and photogenic Station Approach behind Kew Gardens Station, just a 5-minute walk from the Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s not a big shop but inside it is bright and inviting, drawing you in to the nooks and crannies to get a better look. The booksellers are friendly and knowledgeable, and the books are carefully chosen with the customer in mind. Like all good independent bookshop’s, The Kew Bookshop is a hub within the community with an excellent relationship with local schools, championing children’s books and reading, whilst also hosting author events and book launches. Next time you’re in the area make sure you take some time out to browse and discover your next great read!

We caught up with owner, Adam Hewson, who also owns The Sheen Bookshop, to ask him a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our November Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe The Kew Bookshop in three words?
Welcoming, customer-focused, knowledgeable

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
In front of the history section- in a tiny shop like ours, it is the perfect vantage point to see the customers for chats and recommendations and there are fab books behind you!

3. Where do you like to read?  
Ah, the famous question answered so wonderfully by Italo Calvino in ‘If on a Winter’s Night, A Traveller’. Any opportunity really, but with a gin in the garden is quite un-improvable.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be? 
Had I done the training, perhaps archaeology (although I’m certain I would be wishing I was a bookseller.)

5. Excluding The Kew Bookshop – What is your favourite bookshop?
Obviously, The Sheen Bookshop, as that is my other shop, but were I to choose another, I would opt for John Sandoe Books in Chelsea, an emporium of books indeed!

The Kew Bookshop can be found at:
1-2 Station Approach
Richmond
TW9 3QB

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | THE NEW BOOKSHOP

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Our October Bookshop of the Month is The New Bookshop located in the lovely town of Cockermouth, Cumbria. The pale blue shelving, feature tables and stunning passage ways with walls of books are beautiful and enticing, asking you to spend some time here. The children’s book area, at the back of the store, is like a den of wonders inviting people of all ages to dive in to the plethora of wonderful titles to be found there. The shop feels spacious yet cosy and is a relaxed place to find your next read. If trying to decide which book(s) you should leave with is proving a little tricky, you can take a break in the gorgeous café spanning 2 floors and grab yourself a cup of tea with a freshly baked cake. What more could you want?

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We caught up with owner Catherine Hetherington and asked her a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our October Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop, but how would you describe The New Bookshop in three words?
Friendly, knowledgeable, community-hub

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
The front door as you enter the shop

3. Where do you like to read?
In bed

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Doing something arty/crafty

5. Excluding The New Bookshop – What is your favourite bookshop?
Salts Mill, Yorkshire

The New Bookshop can be found at:
42 – 44 Main Street
Cockermouth
CA13 9LQ

Follow them on Twitter and Facebook!

 

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BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | NOMAD BOOKS

Just a short walk away from Parsons Green you can find the lovely Nomad Books – our September Bookshop of the Month. As you enter the store you will walk into a grown up, warm and inviting space with dark wooden shelves and tables of carefully selected titles asking you to spend some time with them, taking in the beautiful covers and examining the blurbs. This space feels like a literary lounge and it’s just right. As you work your way through the shop there is a corridor full of cards, gifts and stationery leading to the expansive children’s area at the back. In delightful contrast to the front of the store this space is brighter with a large, welcoming sofa – perfect for reading together – and a small table and chairs nestled in the corner for the inquisitive toddler to dive into their favourite book. We especially like the display table dedicated to an array of gorgeous hardback picture books that are wonderful gifts in and of themselves.

 

Nomad Books is a bookshop that you will want to spend time in, browsing the shelves and chatting to the wonderful bookselling team who are so passionate about what they do. We caught up with the store manager Aude, who, alongside Emma (Fiction and Book Club) and Tara (Children’s Books and Admin), answered a few questions for us:

1. Congratulations on winning Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Nomad Books in three words?
We. Love. Books. It’s the best way to describe Nomad!

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
The big and amazing children’s section is the best spot in the bookshop (provided there are not too many children in there

3. Where do you like to read?
In the bath (Emma), in bed (Tara) and I love to read on the Tube. Preferably hardbacks!

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
Emma would be a luxury hotels tester, Tara a beekeeper and I would be one of Beyoncé’s dancers

5. Excluding Nomad Books – What is your favourite bookshop?
Gosh! Comics in Soho. One of the nicest places on Earth!

Nomad Books can be found at:
781 Fulham Rd, Fulham
London, SW6 5HA

Follow them on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!

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Bookstore of the Month | The Children’s Bookshop Muswell Hill

Bookstore of the Month

Our Bookstore of the Month this May is The Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill!

Children's Bookshop

Describe The Children’s Bookshop in three words

Eccentric, jolly, and bibliophilic!

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

There is a corner by the picture books which is particularly cosy — you can see the whole shop, but no one can see you!

 Give us a brief history of The Children’s Bookshop.

We’ve been around since 1974, and it’s been passed down from family to family – and always to someone who was already working here! Some of our earliest customers are now bringing in their grandchildren, so we have a lovely sense of our history – and canny customers will find staff members who have been here for over thirty years.

Do you have a store pet?

No? What would be your ideal bookstore pet?

We don’t have a pet, but an octopus would come in handy – enough arms to get all the books at once! Or a niffler, just in case we’re sitting on a pile of buried treasure.

Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

The general consensus from our staff is Philip Reeve, Meg Rosoff, Andy Stanton, Michael Morpurgo, and Eva Ibbotson – storytellers who stand the test of time.

Children's Bookshop

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

We had a vote, and Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman wins for sheer poetic menace:

“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”

What was the last book you read?

Who Let the Gods Out by Maz Evans (Sanchita)

What is your favourite A&CB book?

It’s got to be the two Adas – Ada Twist Scientist and Ada’s Ideas – fantastic heroines whose stories are bought to life with quirky illustrations.

And in winter, Stina is the sort of book you want to wrap yourself up in.

Children's Bookshop

What is your favourite book?

A collection of staff favourites:

Lost Happy Endings – Carol Ann Duffy & Jane Ray (Sanchita’s choice)

Wed Wabbit – Lissa Evans (Maj’s choice)

Tadpole’s Promise – Jeanne Willis (Jeff’s choice)

Jasmine Skies – Sita Bramachari (Meena’s choice)

Share a #Shelfie with us!

The Children's Bookshop

You can find The Children’s Bookshop at:

29 Fortis Green Rd, London, N10 3HP

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Bookstore of the Month | Rogan’s Books

Bookstore of the Month

Our Bookstore of the Month this April is Bedford’s very own reading haven: Rogan’s Books.

This was really hard! So we got our customers to do it! 

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Describe Rogan’s Books in three words.

“Utter reading bliss”

“Magic Faraway World”

“Children’s treasure trove”

“Adventure, development, knowledge”

“Cosy literary nook”

“Where imaginations grow”

“Child’s reading paradise”

“Feeding (or fuelling) young curiosities”

“Inspiring young minds (or readers)”

“Frabjous imagination emporium (this may be our favourite!)”

“Many happy memories”

“Doorway into imagination” – for full list go to our Facebook page!

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

David Litchfield (The Bear and the Piano, The Building Boy): “They have a secret mini door that gets you from one side of the shop to the other… Only the really small can see it”.

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Give us a brief history of Rogan’s Books

Very short! We opened 24th October 2015, the ribbon cut by the Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell.

Do you have a store pet?

Kind of – I live three doors along from the shop so my two dogs frequently join me, and when we first got our new kitten, Varjak (named after SF Said’s Varjak Paw) he spent a lot of time in the shop! We also pet-sat two local geckos for a while…

  1. Yes? Can we have a picture? To follow
  2. No? What would be your ideal bookstore pet? If we were to get one full time it would have to be Fawkes from Harry Potter.

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Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

NEIL GAIMAN. And yes. I am shouting.

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

Oooooh, tough. Peter Pan: “All children, except one, grow up”.

OR

I Capture the Castle: “I write this sitting in the kitchen sink”

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What was the last book you read?

Re-read ‘The Dark is Rising’ by Susan Cooper

What is your favourite A&CB book?

They All Saw a Cat OBVS.

They All Saw a Cat

What is your favourite book?

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Share a #Shelfie with us.

Rogan's Books

Our favourite shop shelves!

You will find Rogan’s Books at:

27 Castle Road,
Bedford,
Bedfordshire,
United Kingdom.

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

 

Bookstore of the Month | Tales on Moon Lane

Bookstore of the Month

We are taking a trip to South London for our Bookstore of the Month this March: three cheers for Tales on Moon Lane!

Tales on Moonlane

Describe Tales On Moon Lane in three words.

Stories. Theatre. Community.

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

Our illustrator’s wall, where visiting authors and illustrators have been doodling for over a decade. Among our favourite doodles are Jan Pienkowski’s Mog and John Burningham’s sketch of Borka.

Illustrators wall

Give us a brief history of Tales On Moon Lane

This year, Tales on Moon Lane is celebrating its 14th anniversary as one of London’s top bookshops. Here is a short time-line of our history:

2016 – www.cantputitdown.co.uk is launched to help get self-published authors off the ground. Tales On Moon Lane bookseller Jennifer Bell publishes her bestselling debut novel, The Crooked Sixpence with Penguin Random House.

2015 – With the help of a James Patterson Grant, Tamara launches the Teens on Moon Lane initiative, alongside a teen-orientated website with content from the UK’s top bloggers. A pop-up Tales On Moon Lane shop is set up in Harris Girls Academy.

2014 – The shop is awarded Julia Donaldson’s bookshop of the month for September.

2013 – Hodder publish Amazing Esme and the Pirate Circus. The shop is devastated by a local flood which destroys most of the stock. It closes for three months.

2012 – Tales On Moon Lane is nominated for the Eleanor Farjeon Award – for distinguished service to the world of British Children’s Books. The second book in the Amazing Esme series, Amazing Esme and the Sweetshop Circus is published.

2011 – Bookshop manager, George Hanratty wins Young Bookseller of the Year and Tales On Moon Lane wins Children’s Bookseller of the Year for the second time at the BA awards. Tamara’s book Amazing Esme is published.

2010 – In conjunction with Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tales On Moon Lane hosts the first annual Children’s Literacy Festival, aiming to inspire a life-long love of reading.

2009 – Tamara writes a book for 6 – 8 year olds called Amazing Esme and gets a publishing deal with Hodder. The shop launches the WeRead award in conjunction with UCS.

2008 – Tamara and her team win Children’s Bookseller of the Year at the Bookseller’s Association Awards.

2007 – The shop is highly commended for the Walker Books Children’s Bookshop of the Year. Time Out names Tales On Moon Lane as one of the Top Five bookshops in London.

2006 – Tales on Moon Lane, as it is now called, is featured in Time Out’s Top Thirty Independent Bookshops in London. The shop launches regular half-term literary festivals, free to all.

2005 – The range of older fiction is expanded and the back-room goes through a refit. Tamara gives birth to her second child, Xander, who becomes the bookshop baby for the first year of his life.

2004 – The shop celebrates its one year anniversary!

2003 – Whilst still teaching at a local school, owner Tamara Macfarlane opens a bookshop, originally called ‘Tell Tales’ on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill.

Do you have a store pet?

Yes, we have a schnoodle puppy named Pluto. She spent her first few months of life snuggled up behind the desk and now enjoys scampering around the shop floor. She loves all our customers, especially the children. The tag on her collar says ‘I belong to Tales On Moon Lane.’

Pluto - Tales On Moon Lane store pet

Do you have a favourite author? If yes, who is it?

Our team of booksellers have wide ranging tastes in children’s books, but two of our favourite children’s authors also happen to be part of our bookselling team – Tamara Macfarlane, author of the Amazing Esme series published by Hodder and Jennifer Bell, author of The Uncommoners series published by Penguin Random House.

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

We have lots of favourites! A recent one that sticks in the mind is the opening of Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell: ‘Once upon a time, a hundred years ago, there was a dark and stormy girl.’

What was the last book you read?

Word Nerd by Susin Nielsen – a brilliant humorous YA family drama.

What is your favourite A&CB book?

We all like Alphablock – a fantastic interactive board book, so beautifully designed!

Alphablock
Alphablock
Christopher Franceschelli & Peskimo Illustration
Abrams Books

What is your favourite book?

We all have so many favourites! Picture books sell particularly well at Tales On Moon Lane, and one of our shop bestsellers is I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen – the whole team love it to bits.

Share a #Shelfie with us.

Tales On Moon Lane shelfie

You will find Tales on Moon Lane at: 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9JU

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!