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

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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

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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

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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

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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?

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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!

 

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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 | 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

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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 | 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.