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Got your golden ticket? Well go spend it! World Book Day 2016

Much as I’ve tried to ignore it – and I tried bloody hard because it always means crafting some elaborate costume (last minute) a deux in our house – its World Book Day on Thursday. Two days before, when I should be finalizing the Muddy what’s on guide, I’m up to my elbows in pink paint making a Peppa Pig outfit grr! But I really can’t complain – a visit to a bookshop still has the power to lift their heads from whatever gadget has their attention (yes really!). So with the impending World Book Day vouchers winging their way home soon, and your intellectual stimulation in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of some of the best indie booksellers in the county.  Each of the shops below is proudly independent and dedicated to creating an environment that nurtures a love of books. Any utterly unmissably splendid ones you think I’ve missed off, do shout me down and I promise to do better next time. If you’re right, I might even feature them on the blog.

The Bookshelf and Tea Rooms, Saltash

the bookshlef and tea room

Andrew and Debbie have just celebrated their first birthday as owners of the Bookshelf and Tea Rooms in Saltash and they’re doing very well thank you. Set up over two floors, upstairs the tearooms provide a space to enjoy a coffee and a slice of homemade cake while you read. The staff threw themselves into World Book Day last year – dressing up is not uncommon. The Bookshelf will be stocking the full range of WBD titles so pop in and have a browse. And a cake.

Good for: Cakeytea, local titles, general fiction

Bookshelf and Tea Rooms, 96 Fore Street, Saltash, Cornwall PL12 6JW, 01752 845804 @booksaltash

The Edge of the World Bookshop, Penzance

edgybooksJames and Rachael Howorth, and their very own Hound of the Baskervilles, Luna  have been running The Edge of the World Bookshop for the last four years. Artist James previously managed the Tate bookshop, and wife Rachael worked at BBC Radio 4 so they certainly know what they’re doing.  Regular events, book signings and a heavy-weight supporter of Penzance Literary Festival (PZLitFest), Edge of the World is a beautiful literary treasure trove and one for my list when I next visit Penzance.

Having kids themselves means they are perfectly placed to understand children’s needs and their Children’s section is thoughtful and extensive. They’ll be stocking the full Word Book Day list, so if you live nearby, pop in and spend your vouchers on something lovely.

Good for: quirky (we likey!) titles, children’s, signed stock and local authors. Oh and Ross Poldark greeting cards (need I say more???)

The Edge of the World Bookshop23 Market Jew Street, Penzance, TR18 2HR, 01736 365607 @edgybooks

Spencer Thorn Bookshop, Bude

spencerthornSpencer Thorn Bookshop (that’s them above, aren’t they lovely?) are a friendly family run independent bookshop two minutes’ stroll from the beach at the top of Belle Vue, Bude.

Founded over 40 years ago, owners Chris and Sue have been at the helm for about 12 years. Staunch supporters of World Book Day since it started, they love promoting the joys of reading: in previous years they’ve acted as judge in competitions for dressing up as book characters and redesigning book covers. Winners have featured in the bookshop window! This year they will be visiting each school to do an assembly about the bookshop and reading for pleasure.

Back at the shop, they’ve  re-arranged their children’s book area making it easier for parents and children to find the books they like and read shelf strips suggesting alternative title as well as book reviews by local children. Staff are totally clued up and can make suggestions and offer help and advice to  reluctant readers as well as confident readers who want to be stretched.

Over the next two Saturdays they will be especially geared up to see parents and children, giving away badges, balloons, stickers and postcards etc, aswell as a few competitions all to promote World Book Day.

Good for: General fiction, classics, children’s and an extensive range of surfing and West Country titles.

Spencer Thorn Bookshop, Belle Vue, Bude, EX23 8JS, 01288 352518 @spencer_thorn

Falmouth Bookseller, Falmouth

ShopfrontBlueOne of a small chain owned by Ron Johns, who also set up publishing house Mabecron Books a specialist imprint that deals in picture books. Right in the middle of town, Falmouth Bookseller boasts an impressive Art deco frontage, places to sit and read and approachable knowledgeable staff. There’s tons to browse: local interest books, a wide range of fiction and some great culinary titles. The art section will appeal to students, the shop frequently showcases the work of young illustrators from University College Falmouth.

As part of WBD celebrations,  Craig Green author of ‘Captured‘ will be signing copies and reading chapters from his book. Captured tells the tale of local boy Thomas Pellow who was kidnapped by Barbary Pirates – a sure fire hit with the littlies from Falmouth Primary who have been invited along.

Good for: art students, families and signed stock, young adult

Falmouth Booksellers, 21 Church Street, Falmouth, TR11 3EG, 01326 312873 @falmouthbooks

Wadebridge Bookshop, Wadebridge


Specialising in publications on the heritage and history of the south-west, local guide maps and outdoor, Rob Burton has run this cute  little shop for the past 8 years, though Wadebridge Bookshop has been going for atleast 30.  A host-with-the-most of regular booky events, foodie fans will be pleased to know that local chef-celeb Mr Nathan Outlaw will be signing copies of his new book here in April. Rob is actively involved with the local primary schools and is accepting WBD tokens.

Good for: Cornish language titles, general literature, out-of-print search

Wadebridge Bookshop, 43 Molesworth Street, Wadebridge, PL27 7DR, 01208 812489 @wadebridgebooks

St Ives Bookseller, St Ives

st-ives-017Managed by the lovely Alice Harrandon, St Ives Bookseller is the little sister shop to the Falmouth Bookseller. Touted as one of Britain’s smallest bookshops, it’s bigger inside than you might think with something here for everyone.  A well curated children’s selection won’t disappoint. Alice’s team are throwing themselves into WBD, but due to space restrictions, will be working with St Ives Secondary School pupils who get to play shop running a bookstall at school. Back at the shop, the full WBD list will be available for you to buy with your golden ticket. BTW: Also shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year Award (2016).

Good for: general interest, fiction, children’s titles.

St Ives Bookseller, 2 Fore Street, St Ives, TR26 1AB, 01736 796676 @stivesbooks

Bookends, Fowey

foweyYou can get your fix of new, second hand and hard to find books and even art supplies at Bookends in Fowey. Ann and David specialise in Cornish authors (Daphne du Maurier natch), Cornish history and nautical titles. When I called, David was out delivering books – each year they donate a bag of books to three local schools which is jolly nice. Early spring is typically quiet for the shop, so they are looking forward to support from the local schools – come down and spend your vouchers.

Good for: hard to find, art, Cornish titles and stationery

Bookends 4 South Street, Fowey, PL23 1AR @Bookends_Fowey

Also worth a visit:

The Bookshop, Liskeard shortlisted for the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award (2016). The Bookshop, 2 Barras Street, Liskeard, Cornwall PL14 6AD, 01579 342112 @liskbooks

And coming soon:

The Padstow Bookseller, Padstow Due to open 15 March, The Padstow Bookseller is Ron John’s latest venture with Mr Rick and Mrs Sarah Stein. Speaking to the The Bookseller, Rick said “It’s long been a dream of mine to open a book shop in Padstow following the closure of the much loved book shop on The Strand.  Personally there’s nothing I love more than browsing in book shops when I’m on holidays and I believe that a lovely town like Padstow needs a good place to buy a few well chosen books.”

I totes agree.

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