The shop opened in May 2008 and is on the main road in Woodstock, just next to the bus stop. We can supply most books to order by the next day and have several thousand books in stock: to order books ring or email the shop. We have a large selection of children's books and are happy to advise and recommend. We can also supply second-hand and out-of-print titles. We offer discounts for school orders and for book clubs and have a free local delivery service.
We were on the regional shortlist for Independent Bookseller of the Year in 2008 and 2013, and listed in the recent Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.
We hold a series of informal talks and readings throughout the year. If you buy any book at the talk the cost of the ticket will be deducted. Please ring or email to book a place - early booking advisable.
I can't think of a better way of celebrating our seven years of running The Woodstock Bookshop than the talk given by Julia Blackburn in Woodstock Town Hall on Wednesday. Her book, Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske is beguiling and wonderful and if you missed her speak about it have a look here and here. As I sat listening to Julia describe and read from the book, and go on to talk very movingly of her husband's death and her own need to carry on working and writing, I felt so lucky to have been able to open and run the bookshop and to have had such extraordinary writers here to talk.
(Julia Blackburn in her garden and, below, at home)
A huge thank you to all our customers for making this all possible.
Yesterday I went with a group of booksellers to Edmund de Waal's studio for tea (he served the most delicious cakes) and a tour of the studio. He talked to us about The White Road: A Pilgrimage of Sorts, the book he has written about porcelain, coming out in September. And he made two pots for us while we stood handling the little lumps of slightly damp, almost floury porcelain clay he had given us, and marvelled: a bowl and a jar appeared, each of which sat briefly on the wheel glowing almost like a mirage before he wired it off and crumpled it back into a clump of porcelain clay. There is little more magical than watching someone make a bowl on a wheel - using, as he pointed out, nothing but clay, a small knife, a piece of wood and a length of wire. You can see him in the photo below - I am the headless person in the middle.
I am reading the book - a beautifully written and at times very funny account of his journey to discover many aspects of porcelain - the places where it began, the people who invented it, a journey of inspiration and obsession, the most wonderful book. If you liked The Hare with Amber Eyes you will almost certainly love this.
Many congratulations to Carys Davies, Patrick McGuinness and Jonathan Edwards, all of whom are on the shortlist for different categories of this year's Wales Book of the Year - see here. Carys came and read here from her excellent short story collection earlier this year:
We have repeatedly enthused about Other People's Countries, just available in paperback:
and you will be able to hear Jonathan Edwards for yourselves if you come to his reading with Elaine Feinstein at our poetry festival in November:
The lovely James Patterson has been giving money to independent booksellers here and in the States, to promote children's reading and encourage booksellers to keep going in these times of ebooks and other difficulties. He is a great champion of books and reading - see here - and we have just heard that the bookshop is to receive a grant enabling us to continue and develop our schools visits and to have a new carpet for the shop's 7th birthday! We will post before and after pictures - the new carpet is being fitted this Friday. There are huge holes as you come in to the shop, a testimony to the number of feet that have walked here since we opened. We are very grateful for those feet, very grateful for the holes - without all the feet we wouldn't be here, about to start our eighth year of trading in Woodstock. Thank you all so much for visiting the shop and for buying your books here.
If you would like to receive information about talks at The Woodstock Bookshop please send us your email address and we will add you to the mailing list. All talks must be booked in advance by ringing, emailing or calling in at the bookshop. Talks are at Woodstock Methodist Church unless otherwise advertised.
Monday October 19, Margaret Macmillan:
History's People: Personalities and the Past. The internationally acclaimed historian gives her selection of the people who made a difference to their times and discusses where they reflected prevailing values and where they challenged or changed them.
Woodstock Poetry Festival 13-15 November 2015
Poets who have confirmed so far include Tony Harrison, Don Paterson, Kei Miller, Jonathan Edwards, Elaine Feinstein, Sarah Howe, Liz Berry, Choman Hardi, Kathleen Jamie, Katrina Porteous, Bernard O'Donoghue, Tom Paulin, Helen Mort, Alan Buckley. Full details and schedule available soon.
Since the shop opened in May 2008 the following authors have very kindly spoken here:
Charles Boyle (publisher of CB editions, alias Jennie Walker)
Edmund de Waal
Anne Somerset Robin Robertson Sam Willetts David Harsent Gillian Clarke The New Libertines Kirtlington Poetry Group