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 | 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

Follow them on TwitterFacebook & Instagram!

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | BUTTON & BEAR

Kicking off 2018, our January Bookshop of the Month is Button and Bear, a children’s bookshop in Shrewsbury owned and run by Louise Chadwick, former director of programmes at BookTrust.

Button and Bear has been designed with children and parents in mind with the goal of getting children interested in books as early as possible. Opening in September 2016 the bookshop also has a café, a gift shop, a breastfeeding area and what can only be described as a magical woodland events space. They run a multitude of regular events including their highly praised Stories & Rhymes in the Woodland (check out their Facebook reviews) and they’ve cemented themselves as a community hub for customers.

We caught up with Louise to ask her a few questions:

1. Congratulations on being chosen as our January Bookshop of the Month! We’ve talked a bit about you and the shop but how would you describe Button and Bear in three words?
Friendly, knowledgeable & unique

2. Where is your favourite spot in the store?
Our hidden woodland room downstairs where we hold storytimes, events & birthday parties. There are no windows & it feels cosy & magical.

3. Where do you like to read?
Everywhere! But mostly when I can lose myself in the book and become part of the story.

4. If you weren’t a bookseller what would you be?
I previously worked for a book charity inspiring people to read focusing on children & parents, which is what I do now through Button & Bear. If I wasn’t a bookseller I would still be out there championing the importance of reading for pleasure & making sure as many children & parents had access to books.

5. Excluding Button and Bear – what is your favourite bookshop?
Tricky to choose just one but I would say that Booka Bookshop in Oswestry is a lovely environment and has brought some great authors to the market town.


Button & Bear can be found at:
28 Castle St
Shrewsbury
SY1 2BQ

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram!

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!

Bookstore of the Week | The Book Shop Liskeard

This week we are off to sunny Cornwall for our #BookstoreOfTheWeek; The Book Shop Liskeard!

Window Interior in The Bookshop Liskeard

Found in the small but friendly Cornish market town of Liskeard, The Book Shop Liskeard is a cheerful, dynamic and pleasing independent bookshop with a terrific range of titles, special stationery and a welcoming atmosphere that will make you want to stay forever. This welcoming atmosphere is only a small part of the reason the store was shortlisted for the Best Independent Bookshop of the Year Award in 2013 AND 2014.

Constantly seeking out new ways to entertain and please its book loving patrons The Book Shop Liskeard plays host to book signings, poetry readings, talks and you will always be greeted incredibly imaginative shop-window displays.

Its bright, comfortable atmosphere, wide range of books; fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults and children, and exciting (yes we get excited about stationery) range of non-book items; notebooks, cards and bookmarks, among others, make this little shop feel bigger than its four walls would suggest. There truly is something for everyone in this little gem of a store.

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If you find yourself in their neck of the woods make sure your pop-in for a visit! We are sure Michèle, Roz or Ruth will greet you will a smile and a book recommendation if you need a little help picking out your next read. Even if you are not heading to the coast anytime soon, The Book Shop Liskeard has one more trick up its sleeve…

A spot on ordering service! 

If they don’t have the book you are looking for, they can order it AND post it straight to your door! If the book is a present, they will even personally wrap it…for no extra charge! Now that is what we call service.

Follow them on Twitter & Facebook.

Find them at:

2 Barras Street
Liskeard
Cornwall
PL14 6AD

Telephone: 01579 342 112

Opening times:
Monday to Thursday 9:00am – 17:30pm
Friday 9:00am – 18:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 16:00pm

Bookstore Of The Week | Koenig Books Ltd

For our Bookstore of the Week are are taking you on a tour of Koenig Books Ltd, this is THE place for art, architecture and photography books and thoroughly deserving of the accolade Bookstore Of The Week.

Koenig Books Ltd Charing Cross Road

An inspiring, German-owned independent bookshop specialising in art, architecture and photography books Koenig Books is a European institution. In London they have three branches; the original London branch is based in the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, a small branch in the Whitechapel Gallery and, our favourite, the newest store on Charing Cross Road. The latter is done out stylishly in black and every book is given space to show off its beautiful facade; books are displayed with their covers rather than spines facing out.

Koenig Books Ltd Inside

Koenig are known for their huge selection of interesting coffee table books, on topics like art, fashion and design. But they also stock a great collection of non-fiction titles on art theory and a good selection of rare magazines. It’s also a good place to find independent books by small publishers, handmade titles and zines.

It’s luxurious displays and wonderful selection of books cater to all price ranges and they always have a good selection of books at reduced prices in the basement. Plus, all of the London branches of Koenig have full access to the stock of mammoth arts bookshop Buchhandlung Walther Koenig in Cologne, so if you can’t find what you want they can order it in for you!

If you are interested in the arts this is a bookshop not to be missed, we always find ourselves delighted and mesmerised by their selection of books. Have you visited? Let us know what you thought!

Find them at:

80 Charing Cross Road
London
WC2H 0BB

11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Bookstore of the Week | Stoke Newington Bookshop

For this week’s Bookstore of the Week we are heading up to the northern reaches of East London. Let us introduce you to Stoke Newington Bookshop!

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The tucked away corner of London that makes-up Stoke Newington is a bit like a town in its own right with independent bakers, butchers and candlestick makers , so there is little wonder there is a marvelous bookshop to visit. Stoke Newington Bookshop is an award winning Independent bookshop with shelves stacked lovingly with the latest releases, old favourites and a colourful array of cards to boot.

Catering to its mixed neighbourhood clientele, the tables near the front are spread with the latest titles and staff recommendations and the shelves that stretch to the very back are lined with a well-chosen array that’s sure to tempt browsers. They sell a wide range of children’s books, from picture books all the way up to young adult and their very helpful staff are more than happy to help; offering up great recommendations and deftly answering queries. It is clear they are book lovers too! 

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The layout of the shop,one big open space, is perfect for the spectacular events they host. We can’t think of many better places to spend and evening listening to our favourite authors giving readings or interviews with a glass of wine.

We can safely say it is well worth venturing off the tube map for this little gem. Buses aren’t that scary…we promise!

You can keep up-to-date with their toing and froing on their blog.

Find them on Twitter & Facebook

Stoke Newington Bookshop
159 Stoke Newington High Street
London N16 0NY

Telephone
020 7249 2808

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat 9:30-18:00
Sunday 11:00-17:00

E-mail
staff@stokenewingtonbookshop.co.uk

Bookstore Of the Week | Clapham Books

From Clapham, with Love.

Clapham Books

This week we are taking a trip to the South London for our Bookstore of the Week.

Found alongside Clapham Common, Clapham Books is a gorgeous little independent bookshop offering a great hand-picked selection of fiction, children’s and art books. They also regularly host events, including author appearances and signings, and for little readers Picture books storytime!  

The store is light, airy and organised with great care. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or need some ideas, the friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help.

Recently featured in the Guardian’s Local Bookshop Guide as part of their Best New Children’s Books Summer 2015 supplement, it’s clear we are not the only ones who have fallen in love with this shop! You only need to check-out their reviews to discover their loyal and passionate customers.

“There are so many interesting books here…they have a wide selection of new and old titles. The staff is kind and knowledgeable. Highly recommend this bookshop!” Daniel Elliott
“If I’m in Clapham I always find myself drawn up the high-street to this shop. As soon as my feet come through the door, my bank balance knows it’s in trouble! It’s well laid out with clear sections, and it’s not overcrowded. I get the feeling that every book of the shelves has been chosen with care, the quality and standard of books on offer is really high. There’s a small graphic novel section but again, the ones on offer are great. There’s always a new discovery to be made and the display of beautiful cook-books is generally my downfall! They also sell lovely, quirky cards which are good to stock up on. #WeHeartHitchcock” Evelyn Adams
“I don’t know any other bookshop in the area with so extensive collection of books. You can find bestsellers, graphic novels or classic books – they just have everything. The staff is very helpful and extremely knowledgeable.” Riley Coles
“A wonderful little bookshop filled with hidden gems. I look in most times I walk past and almost always find something to tempt me.” Gerard Earley
“Thank you Clapham Books. Nice little independent shop with someone behind the counter who knows about the things they are selling” Luca Carraro

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Do you live further east? Don’t fret they have a smaller sister shop in leafy Herne Hill; Herne Hill Books.

Tel: 020 7627 2797

Email: shop@claphambooks.com

Address: 26 The Pavement, Clapham Common, SW4 0JA

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OPENING TIMES:

Monday to Friday         10am – 7pm

Saturdays                       10am – 6pm

Sundays & Bank Hols   12pm – 6pm

Bookstore Of the Week | News from Nowhere

News From Nowhere

This week we are venturing to Liverpool for our #BookstoreOftheWeek.

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Offering a bold and refreshing alternative to chain bookshops, News from Nowhere is a Liverpudlian institution, and is many things beyond being the city’s longest-running community bookshop. Calling themselves a Radical & Community Bookshop, they are a not-for-profit, a worker’s co-op, and are fiercely committed to social change, which they inspire through their radical titles as well as their links to the blogs of local justice warriors and the information on local events, covering everything from mindfulness classes to women’s rights meetings, LGBTQ book clubs, and self-improvement workshops.

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News From Nowhere is a hub for change and togetherness, and continues to uphold this reputation by stocking books studied in English modules at surrounding universities, and selling them at cheaper prices than many bigger stores. Through this initiative, they prove their commitment to cultivating intellectual thought that is rooted in accessibility. This is a forum for community spirit and thought-provoking conversation, with a dash of world-wide cultural music, demonstrations, and posters and badges on the side!

The bookshop stocks a nice collection of fiction, but everyone knows this is the place to go for politics, environmental studies, human and animal rights, feminism, culture, and sexuality! Come by to join the conversations and take part in a collective movement for education and change.

For more information visit their website, and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

News From Nowhere, 96 Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4HY

Opening Hours:

Mon-Sat- 10 am- 5:45 pm

Sun- 12 pm- 4 pm (longer in December)

0151 708 7270      Nfn@newsfromnowhere.org.uk