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

Friday, 23 April 2010

High Street Trading

This is a beautiful book and it is currently in my window. It costs £24.95. A man came in to the shop yesterday and asked to look at the book, so I took it out of the window and gave it to him. He spent a long time looking at it and then said, 'What are you asking for it?' I said that I couldn't sell for below the retail price as I am an independent bookshop and don't have the margins to cut prices. When he heard what it cost he gave it back to me, saying, 'I don't want to pay that much for it,' and walked out. The point is, he has a choice and he can buy it for less.
I have checked on Amazon - the book is on sale for £14.64 and it even has super saver delivery. It costs me slightly more than that to buy the book from my wholesalers. I doubt the man would have come across the book unless he'd seen it in my window but he undoubtedly went home to buy it online, congratulating himself on having saved so much money. Not surprising, then, that I read this morning, 'Online retailer Amazon reported a 68% rise in net profits for the first quarter of the year to $299m (GBP194.5m).'
It doesn't make sense. I am proud of my stock and the advice we can offer customers. We have to pay for the premises and all the costs associated with trading, such as electricity, Nielsons book data and so on. We are not overcharging, and give discounts to schools and book groups. But if most customers behave like that there soon won't be any independent high street booksellers: we can't depend on the enthusiasm of a bookish minority who buy from us in spite of the ruthless undercutting because they value our services.
Still, it's a glorious morning and I'd rather be here in the shop than most other places, so I'll enjoy it while I can.


Natasha RJ said...

Dear Rachel
What a strange coincidence, I had a drink with a friend last night, David the owner of the Faringdon bookshop and your shop came up in our discussion. When I got home I found an email from an artist friend leading me to Pen Paper Pause and from there I went to your website. As the ex-owner of a soon to be, sadly, deceased independent bookshop and as one of the Festival Directors for the Stratford upon Avon Literary Festival I read your comments on the customer looking at the book from your window and not buying, with sad familiarity. It was indeed one of the things David Gottelier (Faringdon) and I had been discussing. My point is this, independent bookshops in particular are acting as Amazon's shop window, since, especially in the case of art books we need to see them before we can possibly decide whether to buy or not (maybe the case is not so strong with fiction etc.) So when all or many of the independents have been winnowed out, what happpens next? How are we going to view art books? Is Amazon going to care, I think not, they will just sell more consumer products but I should love to know how the traditional 'art' publishers e.g. the Thames & Hudsons (and even Taschen) etc, view the long-term. Anyway try not to be too disheartened by your wretched non-customer. Next time I am passing through Woodstock I shall surely come and find you. Good luck.
Natasha Roderick-Jones

fairyhedgehog said...

Your bookshop looks wonderful. If only I didn't live 75 miles away!