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?
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
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
We are taking a trip to South London for our Bookstore of the Month this March: three cheers for Tales on Moon Lane!
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’sMog and John Burningham’s sketch of Borka.
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.’
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!
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.
You will find Tales on Moon Lane at: 25 Half Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London, SE24 9JU
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.
Describe Ottie and the Bea in Three Words
Purveyors of playfulness and creativity
Playfulness, Creativity and Fun
Where is your favourite spot in your store?
In the book corner sitting on the window box with my Donna Wilson Bla Bla blanket.
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.
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!
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
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
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 engaging
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’
What is your favourite book?
Press Here is a book I turn to repeatedly for it’s playfulness
Share a #Shelfie with us!
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.
Welcome book lovers, to our new and improved Bookstore of the Month feature. The inaugural member of this exclusive club is Barton Books Penzance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
This week we are taking a trip to the South London for our Bookstore of the Week.
Found alongside Clapham Common, Clapham Books is a gorgeous little independent bookshop offering a great hand-picked selection of fiction, children’s and art books. They also regularly host events, including author appearances and signings, and for little readers Picture books storytime!
The store is light, airy and organised with great care. If you can’t find what you are looking for, or need some ideas, the friendly and knowledgeable staff are always on hand to help.
Recently featured in the Guardian’s Local Bookshop Guide as part of their Best New Children’s Books Summer 2015 supplement, it’s clear we are not the only ones who have fallen in love with this shop! You only need to check-out their reviews to discover their loyal and passionate customers.
“There are so many interesting books here…they have a wide selection of new and old titles. The staff is kind and knowledgeable. Highly recommend this bookshop!” Daniel Elliott
“If I’m in Clapham I always find myself drawn up the high-street to this shop. As soon as my feet come through the door, my bank balance knows it’s in trouble! It’s well laid out with clear sections, and it’s not overcrowded. I get the feeling that every book of the shelves has been chosen with care, the quality and standard of books on offer is really high. There’s a small graphic novel section but again, the ones on offer are great. There’s always a new discovery to be made and the display of beautiful cook-books is generally my downfall! They also sell lovely, quirky cards which are good to stock up on. #WeHeartHitchcock” Evelyn Adams
“I don’t know any other bookshop in the area with so extensive collection of books. You can find bestsellers, graphic novels or classic books – they just have everything. The staff is very helpful and extremely knowledgeable.” Riley Coles
“A wonderful little bookshop filled with hidden gems. I look in most times I walk past and almost always find something to tempt me.” Gerard Earley
“Thank you Clapham Books. Nice little independent shop with someone behind the counter who knows about the things they are selling” Luca Carraro
Do you live further east? Don’t fret they have a smaller sister shop in leafy Herne Hill; Herne Hill Books.
Part book-shop, part intellectual social circle, part events space, and wholly innovative and creative: The Bookseller Crow on the Hillbeats at the heart of Crystal Palace with its ‘lively and unpretentious’ bookshelves and book clubs. Established in 1997 and co-owned and managed by Jonathan Main and Justine Crow, its name is also derived from the haughtily intelligent birds which are plentiful in the area. The Bookseller Crow on the Hill stocks modern fiction, American literature, crime, and an impressive and colourful children’s section, and also offers local history, high-quality cookery books, and graphic novels; they have something for everyone, and appeal to a wide scope of interests without compromising on quality. The staff are knowledgeable, and welcome both questions and suggestions.
In keeping with their inclusive methods and desire to open people’s minds by getting them to open more books, they hold a popular monthly book club, where they choose the title, offer discounts on it all month, welcome anyone and everyone, and then eat, drink, and discuss. Their choices are varied so as to both include everyone and also challenge people to pick up titles they wouldn’t otherwise read, and they are always relevant and thought-provoking to inspire conversation.
Building on this idea, they offer membership to their Flight Club (whose first rule is read more books!). Each month they send members a book they think deserves to be read, with an explanation as to why and even a bookmark! Books often come signed by authors, and subscriptions are available for delivery to UK, Europe and Rest of the World addresses, with all postage included.
The bookshop also puts on events, where they host authors to read and discuss their latest novels. Owner Jonathan writes an acclaimed blog, and their taste in music is much appreciated by their cool clientele, who welcome the tunes that play while they browse. This is a place where signed-editions and snacks are on hand, and cutting-edge thought is combined with classics on the backlist. It has a small, community-oriented spirit with a widely open mind and a broad reach.
This week we are venturing down to leafy South East London for our Bookstore of the Week.
Introducing Rye Books.
Rye Books is a colourful little bookshop in East Dulwich owned by Alastair Kenward. The bookshop, open for 4 years this November, has a very strong sense of identity. From its bold stripes to its bewitchingly simple logo, Rye Books hold’s its own in a difficult market for small independent bookshops.
Kenward clearly listens to his customers, stocking a beautiful range of books encouraging reading in young children and literacy as well as a collection of books for adults. With cookery, popular culture, including the bestselling Wes Anderson Collection and The Grand Budapest Hotel, and tomes on travel the shop is a haven for kids and their adults.
You can feel the passion Alastair Kenward has for putting the right book into the right hand the moment you enter the shop, they are always happy to give recommendations. Rye Books is a place we would visit whether we knew exactly what we wanted or not! You know the moment you go in you are going to leave with at the very least the book you went in for…
The store has a warm, welcoming feel, it is a place we could easily hide and spend an hour or two. Not in the least because they have cake.
They stock a gorgeous array of new books, but they also have a second-hand section where you can buy a book for as little as three pounds. Plus, they host regular events include children’s storytime for babies and children up to four years old and an interesting assortment of author events, from cookery demonstrations to author talks. But the crème de la crème of Rye Books, as if there could be more we hear you cry, they host film nights in association with Free Film Festivals!
Rye Books is a perfect little local bookshop. We highly recommend a visit, plus, show them some love on Facebook and Twitter.
Stepping out of London for this week’s #BookstoreOfTheWeek and venturing all the way to literary Bath into the wonderful Topping and Company Booksellers!
They have a seemingly unending range, a selection of carefully wrapped signed copies and an atmosphere that is entirely unique to Topping & Company Booksellers.
The shelves are packed with books, none of which you’ll be able to put down. We’re a fan of any bookshop that understands our simple equation; cup of tea + good book = happiness, and with complimentary tea and books galore you’ll spend an ecstatic afternoon in Topping & Company. And when you finally emerge from a chapter and into the world, this treasure trove will undoubtedly have a gap or two in it’s many stacks and you’ll take a little bit of Topping and Company happiness home with you.
They have events galore with Will Self, Michael Rosen and Margaret Atwood making appearances in the book-lined walls over the next month! The staff are nothing shy of amazing, each one is well-read and delightful.Topping & Company also regularly feature their own themed selections offering something a little different. Currently, they’re celebrating The Topping Alternative Booker – 12 of their favourite novels that WEREN’T on The Man Booker list. It’s original, it’s enticing, it’s Topping & Company!
Don’t worry if you’re not near Bath, Toppings & Company Booksellers can also be found in Ely and are coming soon to St Andrews!
Find out more and hear from Topping & Company Booksellers here: