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, 26 September 2011

Gillian Clarke

We had a great launch for Washing Lines last Saturday. Janie and Barbara had decked the Methodist Church with washing lines and poetry and the church was full. The photos show Gillian signing books after the reading, and chatting to Janie and her husband Nicholas just before the reading began. Barbara can just be seen on the far left.

Gillian Clarke's reading was wonderful - we have some CDs of her reading her work in case anyone would like a permanent reminder of how well she reads (the recording was not made at our talk so is not exclusively about washing). She began with tribute to the four miners who had just been found, reading an earlier poem in memory of another accident -

Six Bells - 28th June 1960

Perhaps a woman hanging out the wash

paused, hearing something, a sudden hush,

a pulse inside the earth like a blow to the heart,

holding in her arms the wet weight

of her wedding sheets, his shirts. Perhaps

heads lifted from the work of scrubbing steps,

hands stilled from wringing rainbows onto slate,

while below the town, deep in the pit

a rock-fall struck a spark from steel, and fired

the void, punched through the mine a fist

of blazing firedamp. As they died,

perhaps a silence, before sirens cried,

before the people gathered in the street,

before she'd finished hanging out her sheets.

She read a lot from Washing Lines, and from her own work. A treat was to hear unpublished, recent poems, including one just completed that day. She also read Shirt of a Lad, an anonymous poem translated by Tony Conran, which will surely be in a future edition of Washing Lines.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Anthea Bell and Boyd Tonkin

The photos show, from top to bottom, Anthea Bell signing books after her discussion with Boyd Tonkin; with Melissa from Pushkin Press; signing again and with Melissa. The Methodist Church was full (you can see the cross just over Melissa's shoulder). Pushkin Press produce the most beautiful paperback editions of literature in translation and have published many of Stefan Zweig's books, translated by Anthea Bell - for a look at their superb catalgue see here.
The other small publisher whose books we stocked for the evening is Arabia and Haus
publishing, who publish Rafik Schami. Schami was born in Syria but has lived in political exile in Germany since 1970. He is the winner of numerous international prizes and is among Germany's bestselling novelists - Anthea Bell has translated two of his books, The Dark Side of Love and The Calligrapher's Secret, and she picked out the former as one of her favourite translations. Her most recent translation for Haus is The Indies Enterprise by Erik Orsenna which is coming out very soon (we have early copies here - it is a fantastic story of the effects of discovery.

Boyd Tonkin asked excellent questions and, while Anthea was modestly describing her work as craftsmanship, he declared she was like Yehudi Menuhin, a virtuoso able to bring writers to life in another language. We were lucky to hear her.

On 9 October 2011 at the French Institute Anthea Bell will be sharing her passion for translation, and her experience of taking on upfront the most challenging of them all, the very Gallic Asterix!
Book online on http://www.institut-francais.org.uk/bdandcomicspassion/

Monday, 5 September 2011

Christine Holmes novels

Oxford was recently saddened to hear of the loss of author Christine Holmes. Holmes is probably better known as an historian of Captain Cook and Anglo-Saxon Benson, but she was also a novelist. The Lily & The Crocodile (published in Germany as The Queen’s Physician) is an exuberant read set inside Cleopatra’s royal quarters and beyond. The Song of Deborah, set a thousand years earlier in Palestine, is an intimate tale of two heroic women in the Biblical time before Kings….. Roke Elm is a gem of a modern story set in southern Oxfordshire. This is a truly magical tale of gentle love, and loss, rooted in the very fabric around Benson and the Chilterns. All three novels (in special paperback editions printed for Holmes’s memorial in Oxford) are available from The Woodstock Bookshop at £10 each.

Looking Back - Basil Mitchell

Professor Basil Mitchell, a Woodstock resident for many years, died in June 2011. He had a long and distinguished career as an academic, mainly in Oxford, where he was Fellow and Tutor in Philosophy, Keble College, Oxford, 1947-67, Emeritus Fellow of Keble, 1981, Nolloth Professor of the Philosophy of the Christian Religion, Oxford University, Fellow of Oriel College, 1968-84, and Emeritus Fellow of Oriel, 1984. Before his death he published Looking Back: on faith, philosophy and friends in Oxford (£19.95). It is a fascinating account of his life and philosophy and very well written. If anyone has difficulty getting hold of a copy we are happy to send it out.