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.

are both suspended during the pandemic. We hope to start again as soon as it is safe to do so.

The bookshop started and runs Woodstock Poetry Festival, a completely independent festival that has now been running for 8 years.

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

Twitter: @WoodstockBooks

Monday, 30 November 2009

Praise indeed

'Earlier this year, I went to speak at the relatively new Woodstock Bookshop in Oxfordshire and found, in a compact haven crammed with good books chosen with taste and flair, just that dream of the perfect browsable space that so many readers cherish.'
So says Boyd Tonkin, literary editor of the Independent - for the full article see here. With praise like that, what could one need but many readers of the Independent!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Sue Heap presenting prizes

Here are the winners of the recent illustration competition being given their prizes by author and illustrator Sue Heap. The standard of entries was very high and it was hard to choose the three winning pictures but we agreed unanimously - the winner was Louisa McDonald, seen here holding her picture from The Return of the Killer Cat. Second prize went to Rachel Fry and third to Henry Chesterman - all pictured above with Sue during the prize-giving at the shop on Wednesday.
I have just come across a very nice article by Susan Hill on independent bookshops - see here. Regular visitors to The Woodstock Bookshop will recognise the bits that relate to the shop.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Susan Hill

Pictures of Susan Hill signing books after last night's talk at The Methodist Church. We had a great evening - Susan perched against the altar and spoke very fluently and informally about her year of tracking down books and the memories and portions of her life that the books recalled. Someone asked her about 'the writing process' - whether she planned, how she wrote. It was refreshing to hear that she just writes, without much of a plan.
I first read Strange Meeting as a teenager and am still amazed by how someone of under thirty could possibly have written so convincingly about the First World War.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009


We are very lucky in Oxfordshire: we have the world expert on cheese living on our doorstep. We are particularly fortunate in Woodstock because Juliet Harbutt, world cheese expert and author, will be talking about the magic, myths and making of cheese at Hampers on Saturday 28th November at 5 pm. Find out how to look after your cheeses, create the perfect cheeseboard and enjoy a cheese tasting with a glass of wine. Juliet will also be signing copies of her recently published World Book of Cheese - the perfect gift for the cheese-lover in your life - and the event will end just in time for you to walk along to the town square where the Christmas lights will be turned on at 6pm with choirs, chestnuts, mulled wine, soup...
Tickets £4 (to include a glass of wine and cheese-tasting) from The Woodstock Bookshop. Please book in advance.

An Independent Future?

I have just read the most annoying article in the Independent by Tom Sutcliffe - see here for the full text. The part that caught my attention was this:
'I noticed that Richard Dawkins had published a new book and then noticed that the hardback price was £20 and hesitated. And then I went home and discovered that Amazon would deliver it to my door for £9.99...Since then I've found myself wondering exactly how much of a premium I'd pay to keep that small bookshop in business... My guilt, in the instance I've given, was compounded by the fact that the real-world bookshop did much of the work of securing the sale – acting, in effect, as a walk-through interface...'
That sums it up really. Tom Sutcliffe feels guilty because he likes bookshops and knows that he wouldn't have come across the book at all if it weren't for that well-stocked, well-informed local bookshop. But he buys it from Amazon because it's cheaper. Not every book is cheaper on Amazon, and the hidden costs of the whole process - to publishers and everyone involved in book production - are vast. But so long as local bookshops are viewed as a charitable concern by their (very occasional and often simply browsing) customers, their future is clearly limited.
Interestingly, I read Tom Sutcliffe's article online - why buy a paper when you can read it online for nothing? - So we are all equally involved in this virtual undermining... If I buy your paper, will you shop here?

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Jamie McKendrick

We had a full shop last night for Jamie McKendrick's reading. He read some unpublished poems, as well as poems from Embrace, his new translations of Magrelli, and from Crocodiles and Obelisks. He also read from See How I Land, the collaboration between Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and Asylum Welcome. There is another chance to hear some of the writing from this book on Monday 23rd November from 7-9 pm at the Quaker Centre in St Giles - free entry. For details see http://www.asylum-welcome.org/.

Friday, 6 November 2009

William Boyd

I have been invited to sell books at this event: WILLIAM BOYD book launch & reading, Saturday 14th November 3 pm. William Boyd, Jesus College alumnus and Honorary Fellow will be reading an extract from his new novel, Ordinary Thunderstorms, followed by a Q&A session and a book signing, at the Taylorian Institute Library, St Giles, Oxford. Tea will be served from 3pm; the reading will start at around 3.30 and afterwards there will be an opportunity to talk to William Boyd and buy books. Tickets are priced at £6 per person or £3 for current students: ring Elizabeth Robson at Jesus College to reserve tickets - 01865 279695. For more information please visit: http://alumni.jesus.ox.ac.uk/Events/williamboydevent.php
For more information on Ordinary Thunderstorms see http://living.scotsman.com/books/Book-review-Ordinary-Thunderstorms.5578008.jp
There are still a few tickets left!