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, 25 June 2010

Knole Talk Tuesday 29 June

Robert Sackville-West's talk about Inheritance, his book on Knole and the Sackvilles, starts at 7.30pm and will be held at The Methodist Church.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Judging the Orange Prize

Well, as you can see, Orange judge and Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman showed her enthusiasm for independent bookshops by coming to talk to us in the Methodist Church about the process of judging the Orange Prize for Fiction. Despite what most people would consider an unbelievably hectic job for the past eighteen years - and a teenage son - she reads a lot too. We were all impressed by her stoicism and endurance in having read so many books in such a short period of time while she was selecting books for the Orange longlist and shortlist ('And then I caught flu which was quite a relief because I managed to read three books while I was recovering!') and it was interesting to hear her talk about the titles that didn't make the shortlist as well as those that did. The talk was followed by questions during which she and the audience agreed on the dearth of well-written books about contemporary middle-class life - a modern Jane Austen, for example - and shared Daisy Goodwin's view that there was rather too much misery in the books submitted. The Woodstock Bookshop is currently compiling a list of amusing or even funny books - any suggestions please to info@woodstockbookshop.co.uk ...

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Independent Booksellers' Week

As you can see below, we are starting Independent Booksellers' Week with a flourish - and on Monday 14 June our main event of the week is the talk by Alexandra Shulman, editor of Vogue magazine since 1992, who is coming to discuss the Orange shortlist and prizewinner. Alexandra has been one of the judges this year and will tell us something about why and how the shortlist and winning title were chosen from the vast number of books submitted for the prize. Please note that this talk begins at the earlier than usual time of 7pm.

I think the shortlist this year is excellent - I have read most of them and although I sometimes feel weak in the face of the huge number of book awards and prizes each year and slightly sceptical about some of the winners, I think the Orange Prize has a good history of rewarding excellent writers - Marilynne Robinson, Rose Tremain, Kate Grenville, Linda Grant, Anne Michaels, Helen Dunmore, to mention just a few of them.

Martin Amis was speaking at the Hay festival recently, where he complained that only unenjoyable books win awards: "There was a great fashion in the last century, and it's still with us, of the unenjoyable novel. And these are the novels which win prizes, because the committee thinks, 'Well it's not at all enjoyable, and it isn't funny, therefore it must be very serious...It all started with [Samuel] Beckett, I think. It was a kind of reasonable response to the horrors of the 20th century - you know, 'No poetry after Auschwitz'. But I think it's footling and it's a mistake and it's a false lead...You look back at the great writers in the English canon, and the American, and they are all funny...The reason for that is that life is funny. It's horrible, and there are disgusting atrocities et cetera et cetera, but we all know that life is very funny - that's its nature."

Martin Amis has never won a major prize but he has a point - I often find it hard to think of funny books. The Orange prize shortlist - and the longlist, too - if not wildly funny, is certainly enjoyable and I am looking forward to hearing what Alexandra has to say about how on earth the judges choose between books as different as Black Water Rising and The Very Thought of You...

Paws for History

Walk and Tea, 12 June 3.45pm - meet at The Woodstock Bookshop
You may remember that last year we held a launch at the shop for Helen Peacocke's book Paws Under the Table, a book of 40 dog-friendly walks throughout Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds (see the entry for June 2009). Well, she's done it again, she's written another dog-friendly guide, Paws for History, this time not only describing 35 walks and pubs but also giving information about aspects of historic interest - ranging from the stained glass windows in Fairford church to the Maharajah's Well at Stoke Row (there is even a picture of The Woodstock Bookshop on p.156 - not historic yet, but who knows!).
Do join us for a walk (dogs welcome) to celebrate - meeting at The Woodstock Bookshop at 3.45, we aim to have a walk round Blenhiem Park and then finish at Harriet's tea room for a well deserved cup of tea while Helen talks about the adventures she had while writing the book. Entry £2.50 to include tea and scone, must be pre-booked at The Woodstock Bookshop.

Woodstock and the Royal Park - launch

The book is here, the result of months of hard work by the writers and editors and years of their combined knowledge and research on many aspects of the life and history of Woodstock and Blenheim Park and the surrounding villages. It is fascinating and I urge anyone living in the area to have a look at it. There is to be a launch at the Museum Coach House on Saturday 12 June at midday and you are very welcome to attend provided you book in advance. Entry is free; wine and nibbles will be available and the authors will talk briefly about the book. Please ring or email the shop for further information.