Barter bookshop (Peter Arris)

Hi all:

As you will remember, I have posted once (and revisited it as a Christmas special) asking everybody (readers in particular) what your ideal bookshop would be like. I also posted the same question in one of the groups in Goodreads (the UK group). Although my original question was posted months ago, it keeps getting replies. There are some that reach genius status (somebody wanted a bar in it, fireplaces figure highly, nooks and labyrinthine settings, comfy chairs, coffee, tea and cakes…), but there was a recent post that made me dream. I thought it deserved to be spread more widely and I (and E. whose reply I copy and the link to the bookshop she refers to too, as I really want to go and visit) hope our encouragement will make Sarah go forth writing a story about her magical bookshop. Go Sarah!

 message 80: by Sarah

Jan 17, 2014 07:38PM

Hi all

My ideal bookshop would have the classic deep leather chairs, winding stairs up to the next floor (or two), and little windows that you can peep out of and watch everyone else dashing about while you browse the cosy shop.

To save the walk back down the stairs, there would be a slide back down to the lower levels, made of wood of course.

The shop would have to be magic, for it would feel cosy, yet have enough room for buggies, wheelchairs and people with enormous back packs to browse without hindrance. There would be a lift, with someone dressed in a 1930s/40s Amercian lift attendant outfit, and jazz softly playing. Employees would also be on hand to help wheelchair users have the fun of using the slide too.

Mine would have foreign and literature/non-fiction films to hire, and weekly discussion evenings on such as books, philosophy, films. To reach the higher shelves, a couple of people would be employed who can walk on stilts, dressed up in a wonderful outfit of top hat, stripey trousers and top and for the guy, a long beard would be required.

On cold days, hot chocolate would be served and on warm days, cool homemade lemonade, spiced up for adults drinking it. For those immersed in a book who don’t notice the time and forget to go home, a school bell would be rung, and a friendly golden labrador would gently woof and tug at the sleeves of the dreamers (knowing instinctively those who are afraid of dogs and not troubling them)…

I think I’d better stop now because I could go on indefinitely with this…

Barter bookshop

message 82: by E.

Jan 18, 2014 06:37AM

Well my local bookshop is a little like Sarah’s although It has crooked uneven floors, so not so good for buggies. It’s a 15th century house with a little coffee shop on the ground floor, and many little interconnecting rooms, plus a rickety staircase. There’s a reading room with comfy old sofas so you can read to your hearts content.
New and second-hand books line the shelves and on some weekends, all the shopkeepers in town dress up in Dickensian costumes. Magic!

Here I asked E. where the bookshop she was talking about was, to add it to my list. And both, E. and I encouraged Sarah to write a story about her bookshops, and she said she hoped to write a children’s story about it.

message 84: by E.

Jan 18, 2014 08:26AM

East Grinstead, west Sussex, we’ve got the longest row of wood framed buildings in the country according to the blurb. I walk past them everyday, it really is a little gem, and you can get a steam train ride here too!

And no I’m not on the tourist board LOL!

East Grindstead bookshop

I leave  you a link to the discussion (as there are fantastic links to other places, great ideas, and I’d love to have more contributions there too), and also to my Pinterest board where I’m pinning bookshops that I like the look of (and some I have visited or hope to visit soon). Share yours also!

Link to discussion:

Pinterest board:

Thanks for reading, and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share and CLICK!