Over the past couple of months, at the suggestion of my publisher Matador,
I’ve visited a number of small independent bookshops throughout the Cotswolds (where my new novel A Passionate Spirit is set).
I’ve introduced myself and my novel, offered each bookshop manager a copy of my advance information sheet and asked if they would be willing to stock my book when it comes out in November.
Not only have I found the managers of the shops very friendly and encouraging, and have won several positive responses to the idea of stocking my book, but also I’ve had a wonderful journey of discovery among small independent bookshops.
For a small town to have its own independent bookshop is a great blessing. I’ve now visited bookshops in Stow-on-the Wold, Burford, Chipping Norton, Tetbury, and Woodstock.
Among the bookshops I found one that also sells hats; and another that sells tea, coffee and cakes at the front, in amongst the book displays. All of these shops have individual, fascinating and eclectic displays of books; none are the same, and none are dominated by the current blockbuster or most-hyped new publication. In several I found books that I wanted to buy, and I did make a number of purchases; among them, not a few Christmas presents!
I still plan to visit bookshops in Stroud, Abingdon, and Oxford.
In particular I loved this quote which I found in The Yellow Lighted Bookshop, Tetbury:
So often, a visit to a bookshop has reminded me that there are good things in the world. (Vincent Van Gogh)
I thoroughly agree with Van Gogh.