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 recent 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.
The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.
Friday, 24 May 2013
Will Self and bookshop readings
A slightly lugubrious article by Will Self in the Telegraph, in which he says, 'Nowadays the bookshop reading is largely a thing of the past', due to the massive number of festivals throughout the country. Also to the closure of all the 'cosy little bookshops' who made recommendations and, occasionally, held readings. We are not all gone. I run a 'cosy little bookshop' and we hold readings, either in the bookshop itself or just across the road in the Methodist Church. There are at least five other thriving independent bookshops within a radius of 20 miles of Woodstock and most of them hold readings too. You shouldn't believe everything you read in the national press. Even in London there are independent bookshops - Sandoe's, Lutyens & Rubinstein, Books for Cooks, to name my favourites. And Daunt's, of course.
It is true that people now come into the shop and say, 'Oh! A bookshop!' as though they had just stumbled on a draper's shop or some other Victorian curiosity. I don't like being seen as a bizarre survival from a previous era, brave and foolhardy, eccentrically out of touch with how the rest of the world is living. The people who exclaim over discovering the shop rarely buy books. They wander round marvelling; they ask me, sympathetically, how on earth I manage to survive (Amazon isn't mentioned, it's the elephant in the shop). Occasionally they pick up a book and say, 'Have I read this?' (people with Kindles often don't remember what they've read).
A bookshop reading is nearly always organised by the shop because they are passionate about the book. I don't do readings for publishers, to promote an author they want to push. I do them for the authors and for the shop. The book we sold most of last year wasn't Wolf Hall but Ann Patchett's State of Wonder, a book that all the people who work here loved and therefore recommended to anyone in search of a really good read.
As Will Self concludes, 'the real relationship between a reader and a writer will always be consummated between the leaves of a book'. This is very true. But it can often be started by a bookshop.