My name is Chiara and I am a Bookworm.
I know it has been a really long time since I posted a review but I have an incredibly, amazing book to share with you today which has inspired adventures of my own.
Bookshop Tours of Britain
by Louise Boland
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Based on her touring of bookshops, which she did over the three years since starting Fairlight, Louise Boland’s Bookshop Tours of Britain is a slow-travel guide to Britain, navigating bookshop to bookshop.
Across 18 bookshop tours, the reader journeys from the Jurassic Coast of southwest England, over the mountains of Wales, through England’s industrial heartland, up to the Scottish Highlands and back via Whitby, the Norfolk Broads, central London, the South Downs and Hardy’s Wessex. On their way, the tours visit beaches, castles, head down coal mines, go to whiskey distilleries, bird watching, hiking, canoeing, to stately homes and the houses of some of Britain’s best-loved historic writers – and last but not least, a host of fantastic bookshops.
I’m sure, or rather I hope, that you have seen this book in your local bookshop. I found this book when I was on holiday in Porthmadog in late June. I went to the local bookshop (Browser Bookshop, or find them on Bookshop.org), and there on the shelves almost as soon as I went in the door was this book. It was a match made in heaven. I love finding indie bookshops and here was a map to so many up and down the country.
Different sections of the country are divided into different tour with varying quantities of bookshops. The shortest tour has 6 shops on it and the longest tour, which is London, has 24 book shops. It also has a complete (at the time of publishing) list of every Waterstones and Blackwells in the country. I never would have guessed that there were that many Waterstones up and down the country.
Louise Boland has done her work here. She must have visited many of these bookshops to write about them as she has and where she can she includes old memories and anecdotes from being a student around London near so many of those 24 bookshops.
I’ve just had nearly two weeks off work for a holiday that I never ended up taking and to fill up the time I decided to make a start on ticking off as many as I can.
The ones that I have visited so far were brilliant and I cant recommend them enough. I’m going to try and tick them all off the list, and maybe I’ll even do it before someone makes an updated list.
Maybe the only downfall is that there aren’t many second hand book shops on the list. The author even said in the book “I haven’t, on the whole, been able to include bookshops that primarily sell antiquarian and second-hand books on these tours – otherwise this book would too big to take anywhere …”
If you love supporting your local independent book store, this book is for you. I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s your guide to shopping local.