Welcome to The Woodstock Bookshop

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 Bookshop of the Year in 2009, 2013 and 2017, and listed in the Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.

Two monthly book groups take place at the bookshop - a poetry group, initially formed to read collections submitted for the annual T S Eliot Prize and now following a slightly wider brief; and a book group focusing more on fiction. Both are open to everyone but occasionally space is limited - please contact us for details.

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.

This year (November 9-11) is the 7th Woodstock Poetry Festival - organised entirely by the bookshop. Full details below.

The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.

Twitter: @WoodstockBooks

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Emma Donoghue - Room

We had a full house at The Methodist Church last night for Frances Wilson and Emma Donoghue.
Emma began by reading from Room and now when I read it her voice is in my head. If you do get the chance to hear her, go along - or listen to her on the radio. She reads superbly. She and Frances then discussed the book which was fascinating. I should have taped it or at the very least scribbled notes. Above is a picture of Emma signing books at the end, when a long line of people filed up the aisle to meet her.
Frances's questions were enthusiastic and very acute and provoked answers that made me want to read the book yet again. I particularly loved what she said about Jack feeling safe in Room, surrounded as he was by all his transitional objects. Emma said she was pleased with how she managed to depict Ma through Jack - it's not an easy thing to do, and the adult reader has to be able to see beyond Jack's descriptions and interpret what is said or what happens. We gradually realise Ma's vulnerability and weakness but also her strength. She wanted to show Ma could be strong when it came to dealing with Old Nick over Jack, that Ma had managed to protect Jack and also to prevent Old Nick from forming any relationship with him. She wanted Ma to make Jack strong, like the hero of his story rather than a victim. It was important that Ma and Jack stage their own release and also that Old Nick should be polite and inoffensive - evil, she said, is so often banal.
It was interesting, too, to hear Emma describe how she writes. She said she spends a long time planning, going over and over things in her head, writing what should happen when. The book is as tightly organised as any detective story, and she gave a hilarious account of wrapping her (willing) son up in a rug to check what it would feel like and how long it would take to escape. She made the language as clear and simple as she could and didn't put in any swear words or descriptions of sex because Jack is protected by Ma and in spite of everything has no knowledge of sex. It is beautifully written.

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