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!

BOOKSHOP OF THE MONTH | THE NEW BOOKSHOP

image1

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?

image2

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!

 

Untitled

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!

IMG_20170821_175536576_HDR

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

Follow them on Twitter.

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! 

IMG_0548

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”.

IMG_4206

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.

IMG_0519

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”

IMG_2570

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!

 

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.