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 | 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!