I promised that I’d tell you about the lovely shop I discovered, and so here it is.
It is called Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights , it is in Bath, and it is as lovely as the name suggests.
Where to start describing it? Well, it’s on three floors. It stocks the most delightful selection of books – the usual stuff and lots of interesting books I hadn’t seen anywhere else. It is beautifully laid out so you can see the books – and get them out of the shelves without breaking a nail. There are comfy chairs. There are warm and witty touches everywhere.
There is coffee. There are loos. There are friendly, helpful, knowledgable staff who know that they have some Eric Carle in stock without looking it up and go and find it when it’s not where it should be. There is a shelf marked, ‘I think I heard it on Radio 4’ and one with the books that all the staff are reading. There is, apparently, a lovely dog called Vlashka, but she wasn’t on the rota when I visited. And I had a lovely conversation at the till with Mr B and another member of staff (who were both utterly charming) about children’s books; specifically the books we’d had to hide from our children because reding them umpteen times a day was starting to drive us mad. I do like a man who can recite Hairy McLairy.
If you’re ever in Bath, go to Mr B’s and buy some books. Places like this make the world a better place.
And I now have this on my birthday list.