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 | 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 | 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 | 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.

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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.

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.

Bookshop2-724x232

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 | News from Nowhere

News From Nowhere

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

newsfromnowherelogo

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.

newsfromnowhere

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