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!

 

Bookstore of the Month | Livraria Lello

Bookstore of the Month

Introducing our Bookstore of the Month; Livraria Lello. This bookstore, housed in an incredible neo-Gothic building, is an extraordinary literary mecca: a must if you find yourself in Porto. 

Livraria Lello

Describe Livraria Lello in three words.

Sumptuous, majestic and longing.

Where is your favourite spot in the store?

That must be the stairway. It’s a really beautiful and imposing red stairway: a stairway to heaven.

Livraria Lello

Give us a brief history of Livraria Lello

The history of Livraria Lello is also the story of the brothers Lello who open the bookshop in 1906. José and António Lello came from the Douro Valley, where the port wine vineyards are located. José Lello, the eldest brother, was the first to move to Porto. A man of letters and a lover of literature, books and music, José had the ambition of becoming a bookseller. With his brother-in-law as business partner, José opened his first bookshop and publishing house in 1881. Upon the passing of José’s brother-in-law, José and his younger brother António joined to create their company, José Pinto de Sousa Lello & Irmão.

Around this time, the Lello brothers establish themselves on Rua do Almada, still not knowing that the building which would carry their name into the next millennium was just a few blocks away. Lello e Irmão’s (i.e., Lello and brother) publishing activity was characterized by a strong passion for books and culture. This enthusiasm for art originated special and limited editions, with important artists, such as illustrators and painters.

In 1894, José Lello buys Livraria Chardron and all its contents. Although, by that time, it was no longer owned by the French Ernesto Chardron, it was him who had made the bookshop’s name. One of the most influent men in publishing, Chardron had printed the first editions of several very important Portuguese writers at the tome, such as Eça de Queirós and Camilo Castelo Branco. The Lello brothers ambitious new venture needed headquarters to match its strengthened position and importance in the business. The building, located on Rua das Carmelitas, was then shaped by the sumptuous imagination of the engineer Francisco Xavier Esteves. In 1906, it was opened to the city, just as we know it today – and the sensation it caused at the time continues to be felt nowadays, for it remains a symbol of Porto for all those who visit it.

Open since 1906, Livraria Lello has housed men of arts and letters, has been the inspiration for acclaimed authors, a place for social gatherings, performances and a serene library for many of Porto’s avid readers.

Livraria Lello

Do you have a store pet?

For a long time, we’ve been considering the owl. The owl is emblematic of a deep connection with wisdom and knowledge, as we see the art of literature. Also, the owl is an important character in Harry Potter books and, as many people say, Livraria Lello was a great influence in the work of the author J.K. Rowling when writing the famous saga.

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

As one of the booksellers of the Livraria Lello that’s a difficult question. To all of us who love books, it’s awkward to elect a favourite one, books are emotions, and like emotions some days one fit’s other days the same one doesn’t, but in the end, it tells us who we are.

One of my favourite author is António Lobo Antunes. He is a Portuguese writer and psychiatric. His first book to be published was Memória de Elefante (Elephant’s Memory) in 1979, it became a huge success. Since then he published approximately thirty books. However, we can never forget Fernando Pessoa and his stately work, where you can be sure to find unforgettable thoughts, words, emotions and stories. Nonetheless, I must mention José Saramago, a tremendous work, where the art of literature finds itself. As you can see, it is very difficult to elect one, and I stop now, because I could go on and on…

What is your favourite opening line from a book?

As one of the booksellers of the Livraria Lello one of my favourite opening line from a book is No dia seguinte ninguém morreu. (In the following day, nobody died) in Intermitências da Morte (Death with Interruptions), José Saramago, 2005.

Livraria Lello

What was the last book you read?

As one of the booksellers of the Livraria Lello I never read one book at time, I’m always reading three or more… The last three I was reading were, The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, Rebuçados Venezianos by Maria Filomena Molder and Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon.

What is your favourite A&CB book?

As one of the booksellers of the Livraria Lello I’m going to choose  Flashlight by Lizi Boyd and Danny Clinch: Still Moving by Danny Clinch.

What is your favourite book?

As Frank Zappa said “So many books, so little time”… There are so many great books that I’ve read, and there are a lot more that I want to read. As one of the booksellers of the Livraria Lello, I would choose: Sound and Fury by William FaulknerThe Book of Disquiet by Fernando PessoaSeeing by José Saramago; The Land at the End of the World by António Lobo AntunesThe Karamazov Brothers by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and so on.

I don’t have a “favourite book”, like there isn’t a favourite love, what we have is different types of love… The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Share a #Shelfie with us!

Livararia Lello #Shelfie

Address:

R. das Carmelitas 144
4050-161 Porto
Portugal

Phone: (+351) 22 200 2037

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday: 10am – 7.30pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10am – 7pm

E-mail: info@livrarialello.pt

Find them on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Bookstore of the Month | The Alligator’s Mouth

Bookstore of the Month

Happy New Year friends! Here to launch our Bookstore of the Month feature for 2017 is a bookstore with a BITE, the incomparable children’s bookshop: The Alligator’s Mouth.

The Alligator's Mouth

  1. Describe The Alligator’s Mouth in three words.

Friendly, toothsome & biblioquirky.

  1. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

We generally discourage customers from obstructing the steps in the centre of the shop, between picture books and books for older readers, but it can be a nice place to sit with a cup of tea when the shop goes quiet.

  1. Give us a brief history of The Alligator’s Mouth

Margaret and Tony worked together at the Lion and Unicorn children’s bookshop, which had a great reputation in Richmond built up over more than 30 years. When it closed, they decided look for a new premises where they could carry on doing what they love doing. Mark joined the team as the third full time member of staff and the shop opened in March 2015. Our launch event featured Chris Riddell, Jacqueline Wilson, Axel Scheffler, Jim Smith and a host of other wonderful authors and illustrators who were there to get us off to a good start. We stock books from baby to young adult and host storytimes, a comics club, a 9-11 bookclub and frequent author events. In the nearly two years since opening we’ve had lots of lovely community support, getting involved with local schools, community centres and theatres. In November 2015 we were voted best Richmond shop in the Time Out Love London Awards. The name comes from a Lemony Snicket quote: ‘A book is like an alligator’s mouth — If you see one open you often end up disappearing inside.’

  1. Do you have a store pet?

No, we don’t have a pet. An argument has just broken out over whether our ideal bookstore pet would be a griffin or a moomin…

(The A&CB team voted; we think a griffin would be impressive, but a moomin would be less likely to damage the books and readers…)

Chris Ridell at The Alligator's Mouth

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

We all love Chris Riddell’s work. There are favourite books here for all ages that he has either written or illustrated or both (‘Ottoline’, ‘When I Met Dudley’ and ‘Alienography’ to name but a few). We were very lucky to have him draw our alligator logo, and it had to be Chris to cut the ribbon on the shop at our launch event.

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

    Margaret has picked Where’s Papa going with that ax?[sic], the unexpectedly sinister opening from E. B. White’sCharlotte’s Web’.

    The Alligator's Mouth

  1. What was the last book you read?

Tony: ‘The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie’ by Alan Bradley
Margaret: ‘The Road to Ever After’ by Moira Young
Mark: ‘Podkin One Ear’ by Kieren Larwood

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

We all love ‘Ada Twist: Scientist’ by Andrea Beaty & David Roberts. We’d also like to mention ‘Flora and the Flamingo’ by Molly Idle and anything by Benjamin Chaud (‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to School’, etc.) We find we can rely on A&CB for beautifully illustrated and designed books, often with thoughtful and original content.

  1. What is your favourite book?

One book that we all continue to enjoy as we recommend it to parents, teachers and cheeky children is ‘Battle Bunny’ by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett & Matthew Myers. A little boy has received a twee book called Birthday Bunny, but with the power of a marker pen he has transformed it into the awesome, action-packed tale of Battle Bunny! We’ve had at least two teachers take it away and base lesson plans around it. For booksellers it’s satisfying to help others unlock the potential in an unusual book like this.

10.

Share a #Shelfie with us!

A&CB Titles at The Alligator's Mouth

Here’s a table filled with some of our favourite A&CB books, new and old.

dots

You can find The Alligator’s Mouth at 2a Church Court, Richmond, TW9 1JL. If you  find yourself in Richmond make sure you pop-in and say hello.

Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Bookstore of the Month | The Book Shop, Bridport

Bookstore of the Month

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our Bookstore of the Month; The Book Shop, Bridport!

  1. Describe The Book Shop, Bridport in three words.

Bright, quirky, cozy

  1. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

Wherever I happen to be rearranging at that moment

  1. Give us a brief history of The Book Shop

The bookshop opened in 1973 (the year I was born) and I am its 5th owner. I took over a little over a year ago, did a quick refresh (carpets, lighting, a lick of paint or two) and reopened to a very welcoming community.  It has been a fun, eventful and successful year

  1. Do you have a store pet?

Um, yes. Sort of. Except has she a tendency to look very pathetic when people approach her.  Her name’s Twyla and she was rescued from the animal shelter in San Francisco and we brought her over with us when we moved back.  She likes being a farm dog, not so much a bookshop dog, although she does look super cute when she falls asleep behind the till.

Twyla

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

Couldn’t even begin to answer this question but this month I’ve been really excited when the new Rick Riordan, James Dashner and Ben Aaronoviches arrived in the shop.  That may well change again next month…

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

“Before Bean met Ivy she didn’t like her” from Ivy and Bean book 1 (and yes, that is a Chronicle title!)

  1. What was the last book you read?

Seventy times Seven by John Gordon Sinclair

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

 Press Here by Herve Tullet

  1. What is your favourite book?

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman (today anyway)

 

You will find The Book Shop at:

14 South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NQ

Tel: 01308 422964

Follow them on Twitter and find them on Facebook.

Bookstore of the Month | Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights

Bookstore of the Month

Step inside Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights…

Mr B's Bookshop

  1. Describe Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in three words.

Eclectic, welcoming and opinionated.

  1. Where is your favourite spot in the store?

Definitely the bibliotherapy room, there is nothing better than sitting in there with the fire on, cuppa and cake by your side while you chat away with an equally passionate bookworm.

bibliotherapy room

  1. Give us a brief history of Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights.

Mr B’s opened its doors 10 years ago after the owners, Nic and Juliette, decided to leave careers in law and set up a business that was based around something the loved. With a passion for getting the greatest books out there into the right hands the shop soon got a reputation for being a great place to find a recommendation, which led to the creation of our Reading Spas – one on one recommendation sessions over tea and cake with your very own bibliotherapist. The shop constantly keeps evolving, with the recent addition of our Reading Bundles – mystery sets of books on themes such as “Books on the Bayou” or “Strange Vacations” each of which come with their own specially designed ‘Armchair Expert’ cloth badge!

  1. Do you have a store pet?

We do indeed, meet Vlashka, the pooch who decided Prague was no longer for her and wanted to make sure people were choosing great fiction overseas instead.

Vlashka

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

The answer to this would differ greatly depending on who you speak to, and what day you spoke to them, in the shop, but as I am the one answering these questions and I will go with Alan Bennett. He never fails to make me laugh with his wry observations and I think his books are so readable; they come across as being deceptively simple, when they are anything but.

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

I think it is hard to beat “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen”

  1. What was the last book you read?

I have just finished the amazing ‘Here I Am’ by Jonathan Safran Foer; I am a huge fan of his writing and am very excited that we had him do an event with Mr B’s on October 10th. I had to try very hard not to fangirl!

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

We are incredibly excited for a new title actually, ‘The Chef’s Library’, so intriguing to see what books those in the know use! But in terms of all-time favourites it has to be either the Iggy Peck, Rosie Revere and, now, Ada Twist sequence of children’s books – particularly as David Roberts once drew us the cover for our Christmas Catalogue depicting Iggy and Rosie making us a very technical Christmas tree. Or, the Compendium of Collective Nouns which we love so much we wallpapered our bathroom in it!

  1. What is your favourite book?

To me this is kind of like choosing a favourite child! But I am going to say ‘Alone in Berlin’ by Hans Fallada because the story is so incredibly inspiring and moving.

Mr Bs Bibliotherapy Room 5

You will find Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights at:

14/15 John Street, Bath, BA1  2JL

Telephone: +44 (0)1225 331155

Email: books@mrbsemporium.com

Follow them on Twitter and find them on Facebook.

Bookstore Of The Month | Ottie and the Bea

Bookstore of the Month

This October our Bookstore of the Month is the newly refurbished Ottie and the Bea! We couldn’t love this little gem of a children’s bookstore more, read on and discover its wonders yourself.

Ottie and the Bea

  1. Describe Ottie and the Bea in Three Words

    Purveyors of playfulness and creativity

OR

Playfulness, Creativity and Fun

  1. Where is your favourite spot in your store?

In the book corner sitting on the window box with my Donna Wilson Bla Bla blanket.

Ottie and the Bea

  1. Give us a brief history of Ottie and the Bea.

Ottie and the Bea opened 6 years ago. I’d worked as an actress previously and wanted to run my own business. I thought about what was important to me and what I loved. I new then that I had to open a children’s shop. Play is essential for our well being and is the best way to learn. Fundamental to being a human being is communication and sharing stories that feed our imagination. I spent a year researching products and then felt ready to open. Now we are 6. We run book clubs and have fun being an important part of our community. Now I know anything is possible.

Ottie and the Bea

  1. Has Ottie and the Bea got a store pet?

Nettie- she is a 14 1/2 year old French Basset who is banned from the shop at the moment because she has a habit of stealing our packed lunches and has an extraordinary ability to clear the office!

Nettie the Dog Nettie the Dog

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

    At the moment I am loving Brian Selznick’s books. They are beautiful books/ art forms and The Marvels takes you on an incredible journey

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink’ first line from I Capture The Castle…- just makes me smile

  1. What was the last book you read?

    Patrick Ness The Knife of Never Letting Go – Oh My Word- I found it difficult to read at bed time as it was just so engagingProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

I really love Bear Song – the illustrations from Benjamin Chaud are incredible and the story itself has such a lovely message – ‘..adventure is best enjoyed together’

  1. What is your favourite book?

Press Here is a book I turn to repeatedly for it’s playfulness

  1. Share a #Shelfie with us! 

Ottie & the Bea

You will find Ottie and the Bea at 12 Old Dover Road in Blackheath, South East London. If you ever find yourself in the area make sure you pop-in and say hello.

Monday to Saturday, 9:30-5:30pm.

T: 0208 465 5318.

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook + Instagram.

Ottie and the Bea

Bookstore of the Month | Much Ado Books

Bookstore of the Month

Let us introduce you to our Bookstore of the Month; Much Ado Books.

“We are Cate Olson and Nash Robbins – Americans who decided to sell books in a Medieval village tucked in the South Downs . . .”

Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

  1. Describe Much Ado Books in Three Words

Unexpected discoveries abound

Much Ado best spot

  1. Where is your favourite spot in your store?

Upstairs, in the comfy armchair of our Arts & Letters Room, surrounded by books.

Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

  1. Give us a brief history of Much Ado Books.

Twenty years selling vintage books in America and dreaming of living in Britain, which led to 13 years selling both new and old books in rural East Sussex

Much Ado Chickens Much Ado Books

  1. Has Much Ado got a store pet?

We have three bantam hens, named Little One, Bully Girl and Frizzle. They occupy their time eating plants, making trouble and showing off for customers.

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

Robertson Davies – his books are sparkling, funny and engaging as well as thought-provoking; he should have won the Nobel Prize for Literature!

  1. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle.

  1. What was the last book you read?

Cate: Annie Barrows, The Truth According to Us

Nash: Joanna Kavenna – A Field Guide to Reality

Together (we read aloud every night): Elizabeth Leitch – The Saturday Club (an out-of-print classic given by a friend who loves childrens’ books)

  1. What is your favourite A&CB books?

Downstairs favourite: Andrea Beaty – Iggy Peck Architect

Upstairs favourite: Carlos Fuentes The Diary of Frida Kahlo

  1. What is your favourite book?

Discussions (arguments?) are on-going!

  1. Share a #Shelfie with us! 

Much Ado Books  Much Ado Books Much Ado Books

 

You will find this award-winning independent bookshop in Alfriston, East Sussex.

Much Ado Books
8 West Street
Alfriston
East Sussex
BN26 5UX
UK

t: 01323 871222

e: shop@muchadobooks.com

Follow them on Twitter and Instagram. And don’t forget to sign-up to their newsletter.

Bookstore of the Month | Barton Books Penzance.

Bookstore of the Month

Welcome book lovers, to our new and improved Bookstore of the Month feature. The inaugural member of this exclusive club is Barton Books Penzance. 

Barton Books shop front

Take it away Barton Books!

1. Describe Barton Books in Three Words

Beautiful: Serene: Unique.

 2. Where is your favourite spot in your store?

The shop window. I’m always in there tweaking and faffing.

Barton Books store

3. Give us a brief history of Barton Books.

Barton Books opened in May this year. I concentrate on art books, but use the term loosely.  I do indeed sell books on artists, but on top have a creative selection of all books visual.  I look for titles which are multi-faceted: they must of course have strong content, but also must be well designed and packaged.  Following my time working with, among others, Tate and the London department store Liberty, it seemed a natural progression to open my own store.  Penzance has a great artistic crowd who are now discovering my shop and becoming regulars, and the town draws in many people from further afield, who have also become customers of mine.  I feel very lucky to have such creative folk coming in!

4. Has Barton Books got a store pet?

Would you call a Staffordshire china dog a pet? Maybe a mascot.  Anyway, here’s a picture.  He has no name.  I quite fancy having a border terrier in the shop at some point.  My cats would love to come in but they wouldn’t hang around for long.

20160722_141007

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

I love so many: John Cheever, Lawrence Durrell, Iris Murdoch, LP Hartley, Beryl Bainbridge, Patrick Hamilton.  I must try some more living authors too because I thought The Shore by Sara Taylor was great.

6. What is your favourite opening line from a book?

Possibly a cliche but ‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there’ from LP Hartley’s The Go-Between still resonates.

7. What was the last book you read?

The Visitors’ Book by Jon Lys Turner, about Richard Chopping and Denis Worth-Miller, friends of the painter Francis Bacon.

Barton Books store
8. What is your favourite A&CB books?

It’s got to be All My Friends are Dead. It’s got the multi-faceted qualities!

9. What is your favourite book?

JD Salinger. The Catcher in the Rye.

10. Share a #Shelfie!

Barton Books #Shelfie

So if you find yourself in Penzance, or indeed if you live there, a trip to Barton Books is a must. Whilst you are there snap your own #shelfie and share it with us using #BookstoreOftheMonth.