Thursday, 28 August 2014

Visited Shelf: The Haslemere Bookshop

Welcome to installment no.2. of the 'Visited Shelf' (independent bookshops I've visited, loved, and want to share with the world), this time brought to you from the lovely Haslemere Books.
The front of the shop. Outside bargain books are displayed on the tables. 
Haslemere Books is one of my closest independent bookshops so this wasn't a fist time visit. (But they are sadly getting further and further away - support your local bookshops people!) From the times when I used to beeline straight to the children's section at the back, up until now, Haslemere Books has always has an inviting atmosphere.  

Main section shelves.
The building is beautiful, grade II listed, and the interior is similarly traditional. Traditional, but not outdated. New titles and plenty of light combine to keep things nice and fresh. A really good new releases shelf, smack bang in the center of the first part of the shop, definitely plays a role in this. The rows and rows of beautiful, shinny new, hardbacks will make any book lover feel right at home.

It may not have the best ever window display, but inside everything is well organised, with clearly marked fiction, and non fiction sections. They also stock a number of different editions for well known classics. You can leisurely browse, judge a book by its blurb, and then pick the cover you like the best - guilt free! (Or vice versa, I promise I won't judge you.)

They have a nice selection of the Penguin English Library editions. I've been eyeing up these for a long time. They have simple but well designed covers, and nice eye catching spines with the signature orange stripes. (You can spy a few in the top left of the photo to the left.)  A few were even on special offer, so Rob kindly brought me Gulliver's Travels to kick start my collection.  

I then splurged a little in the new releases, and grabbed myself a copy of Sarah Moss' Bodies of Light. I knew nothing about Sarah Moss, or this book,  and was totally taken in by the cover. The blurb was equally promising, so I caved. Finding new authors has to be one of the best bits about bookshops, so I don't feel too guilty.  :)

If you walk through an arch, you'll find yourself in the well stocked, and newly expanded, children's section. This is also home to all your favorite YA authors and titles, and we had fun spotting some of our old favorites and picking out more to add to the wish list.

This section also holds a good collection of stationary, cards and wrapping paper. Its a great place to look for some nice gifts. 

If you venture upstairs, (yes that's right, two floors!), you can wander along wonky corridors and floorboards, stepping in and out of smaller rooms, and explore shelves of second hand books.  I love the feel of these rooms, you really get a sense of the buildings history. Sometimes I find looking through second hand books can be quite time consuming, which is fine! However, here everything is categorised, and that bit less daunting, so you can jump straight in, and dig out some old gems without any stress. 

If you happen to be near Haslemere, pop in! This shop manages to meet all your twenty first century reading needs, without chucking bookshop history to the side. 


I would love to hear about your local bookshops. :)


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