A group of published UK-based authors and illustrators of picture books, children's and YA.
I love bookshops. I realise that as an author that might not come as the biggest surprise to you, dear Reader, but I really, really do. I started young, at the library then moved on to the shops by way of birthday and Christmas presents. Love me? Buy me a book. Know me? You’ll be getting one for Christmas (and no, it won’t necessarily be one of mine).
Bookshops are beautiful places. For a start they are filled (filled!) with books of all shapes and sizes, genres and print. They face out; they’re shelved, displayed on tables, stacked on floors and sometimes, hidden behind the counter with your name attached (if you’ve ordered in advance).
Then there are booksellers; those clever, funny, friendly people, with endless knowledge, super recommendations and… tote bags*.
Here are five of my favourite bookshops, places I return to again and again because they are not only filled with books, but wonderful staff, great recommendations and, on occasion, a chair to curl up and read in for a while. That’s if I can leave the shop at all. I have never been known to exit a bookshop without a purchase (or three).
Lovely people, lovely wallpaper, perfect recommendations plus chairs to read in!
Photo Credit: Sarah Baker
An original Edwardian bookshop. Check out the oak galleries and the gorgeous skylights. A real beauty of a shop to browse in.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
The mothership. Go for the four floors, 200,000 different titles and four miles
(6.5km) of shelves then stay for coffee and cake (and some excellent people watching) in the top floor cafe.
Photo Credit: Pinterest
A gorgeously small bookshop with wonderful staff who can recommend you a
book at 5 paces. This used to be my local and I still go back (they hosted both
book launches.) There’s a lovely kids section and they have regular
readings, signings and kids events too. Did I mention the staff already? They’re
Photo Credit: Nikki Kastner
Maps, flags, books and more books. This is a great store with a super
children’s section and brilliant staff who know their stuff. Look out for the rather
impressive map of Bristol at 1:5,000 scale, covering the entire staircase wall from the
ground floor to the basement. They also have sloths (not real ones).
Photo Credit: Thomas Darby
* As of 2016, I am banned from owning any additional tote bags. It was decreed 47 was more than enough.
14th Oct 2017
ABOUT SARAH BAKER
Sarah Baker has worked extensively in film, with roles at Aardman Features and the Bermuda Film Festival, and as Story Editor at Celador Films. She has also been a writer and blogger for vintage fashion magazines. Sarah currently lives in London with her son. Her first book was THROUGH THE MIRROR DOOR, a time-slip novel for 9+ that’s perfect for fans of Emma Carroll, Katherine Rundell and Robin Stevens. Her second novel, ELOISE UNDERCOVER, is a thrilling middle-grade adventure set during WW2.