I am a freelance writer, living in Bath with my wife and son.
I love my city, and love to live here. I write about Bath every day, and sometimes about travels in Ireland.
Published June 8th 2017
Book palace run by awesome book wizard- lovely, happy place
At the heart of bustling Moorland Road, there is a wonderful bookshop. Its ever-changing twin-window display of tempting titles leads to a wondrous selection of genres, offering new reading experiences for all ages and walks of life. The incredibly welcoming staff, Harry and Phillip, are exemplary book-lovers, clearly doing what they do for the love of books and the enjoyment of those who read them. Opened in 2002, this compact shop caters for a diverse community of University students, elderly residents and young professional families, with everybody else weaved in.The shop is a short walk from the city centre, with ample parking along the street or in the local supermarket carpark. I have been an avid fan of the shop for over a decade now and have been introduced to some superb books, as suggested by both H and P.
This special place has community at its heart and extends a gentle welcome to everybody who arrives. A well-stocked table of children's books placed lovingly on to tiny, multi-coloured chairs greets the visitor. My four-year-old son always makes a beeline for this and immerses himself in young Star Wars books. With local school and National reading events advertised at the counter, it is a haven for book-lovers. Children and adults are encouraged to peruse, to sample the books and to talk about them if they wish. There is none, absolutely none of the commercialised stuffiness that larger 'chain' bookstores can have. There must be thousands of Bathonians who know and respect Harry, he is so gregarious and knowledgeable. This knowledge is reflected in both the 'Bestsellers' and 'Local History' sections, indeed in the variety of titles in every section.
Whether browsing for a treasured read, new release or nothing in particular, there are a plethora of other delights to discover. Peppered around the shelves are stands of thought-provoking and beautiful art print greetings cards, works of art in themselves, and most of them blank for a bespoke message. With a quirky mix of painted landscapes and comic images, they are well worth a peruse. Open both weekday and weekend, it is full of hidden gems. Should any more encouragement be needed, consider this. It is a rare and beautiful thing to see a bookseller discussing 'Hairy Maclary' one moment, with the same enthusiasm and passion as the 'History of Somerset' the next. Go there, and discover a new treasure.