It’s the latest in my new Friday feature, where I want to highlight some of the many independent book shops that are out there waiting to be discovered. Whilst there are the usual online book retailers and big name high street shops there are also some wonderful independent bookshops with a treasure trove of literary delights to uncover. There is nothing quite like browsing in a book shop, seeing the books, being able to actually look at them before deciding and of course the booksellers and owners are often a mine of information, a much underused resource.
The sad thing is that unless they are used they will vanish from our towns and villages. The childhood (and to be fair, grown up) delight of visiting a book shop and being able to sit amongst so many books, deciding which new unearthed treasure to take home will be sadly lost.
The fifth bookshop to be virtually visited is Chorleywood Bookshop in Hertfordshire.
1. Tell us about Chorleywood Bookshop.
We are an Independent Bookshop in Hertfordshire…We have a team of ten knowledgeable and enthusiastic booksellers, including a full time marketing and events person. We pride ourselves on being part of the community and offering prompt, helpful and friendly service.
2. We open the front door to your shop. What can we see as we cross the threshold?
Books! Lots of lovely books for adults, kids and everyone in-between. We also sell cards, gifts and balloons. You will also see all of the showcards for our fantastic events behind the counter (currently we have – Michael Morpurgo, Tara Westover, Johnny Mercer, John Torode, Alison Weir, Ruth Jones, A.J Pierce and the Bosh Boys!
3. What’s the most unusual request you’ve had in store – if you can tell us.
We get unusual requests… such as:
Customer: Do you sell radiators?
Us: No Sir, we are a bookshop, we sell books.
Customer: Oh – well that’s disappointing, what about the ones on the walls!
Us: Nope, we need those.
(We are still not sure what happened)
4. Do you have anything that’s unique to your shop. What makes you stand out?
Our events… last year we did 80 author events, author talks in the evening with incredible people such as David Walliams, Nick Clegg, Judith Kerr, Gordon Brown, Mary Berry, Ottolenghi, Joanna Trollope, Scummy Mummies, Andy McNab, Nadiya Hussain, Tom Kerridge and many more. And author events in schools with more incredible authors such as Chris Riddell, Rob Biddulph, Andy Griffiths, Robin Stevens, Christian O’Connell and Greg James to name a few. We love doing author talks and our customers are thrilled to meet the people who write their favourite stories!
5. Do you have any tips on which books will be big this year?
I think Eleanor Oliphant will continue to be very popular. Also Educated by Tara Westover is a remarkable book and is getting a lot of attention.
6. If you could only recommend one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?
It’s like picking a favourite child but we’ll have a go…
I think it would have to be the Harry Potter series (childhood favourite).
7. Let us know how we can find you.
We are at the end of the Metropolitan line and 35 minutes from London Marylebone. You can follow us on twitter: @CWBookshop, on Facebook: Chorleywood Bookshop or Instagram: @cwgxbookshop. For our full events line up and more details about our shops you can visit our website http://www.chilternbookshops.co.uk
(I don’t receive any payment or have any vested interest in any sales that may result from this post. The sole intent of the feature is to highlight the many fabulous bookshops out there. Happy shopping!)