This weekend the Guardian newspaper produced a fine little booklet entitled, ‘Independent Bookshops Directory.’ Inside it is packed with info on the coolest independent bookshops in the UK organised by region and with features on specialist shops and why people love them. I was pleased to see one of my favourite shops included in this list, Scarthin Books of Cromford, Derbyshire. Scarthin Books is a wonderful shop hidden away up a side street in the small village of Cromford overlooking the pond that feeds the local mill.
As soon as you enter the shop your eyes are assaulted by walls, bookcases and floors covered in books, from second hand collectables to the latest releases signed by the author. The shop sprawls over three floors and even includes a vegan cafe hidden away behind a curved bookcase and of course the cafe is surrounded by books on cooking and gardening. My kids can spend hours just sat on the floor trawling through the great selection of children’s books.
It is a real maze of a shop, one you can almost lose yourself in with obscure sections hidden away in the roof or underneath the stairs. If you ever find yourself in Derbyshire you really should call in and see for yourselves.
If you missed the bookshop supplement in the Guardian then they also have a marvellous interactive map of the UK showing you where the best bookshops are and you can find that by clicking on this link, independent bookshop map.
I noticed that in the news today it was reported that these wonderful shops are becoming more and more rare, apparently fifty new bookshops opened in the UK this year but seventy. If you have a local bookshop that you love then tell others about it and whilst we all love a bargain on Amazon you really can’t beat flicking through the shelves and unearthing a hidden gem.
Click on the link below for the full story from the BBC.