While stumbling around the internet I happened upon this amazing shop: Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath. They won 2011 independent bookshop of the year (having won the South-West region in 07, 08, 10 & 11) and I am in love with it.
They have awesome gift vouchers. I can’t decide if my favourite one is
Mr. B’s Year of Reading Delights (£125 paperback option): You have a telephone chat with a Mr. B’s bibliotherapist, who then handpicks and sends you a book every month for a year with a little note explaining why it was chosen. Brilliant, especially the old school brown paper and wax seal wrapping.
Mr. B’s Extravagant Reading Spa Experience (£100): Coffee & cake, a 60 minute book chat with Mr. B discussing your likes/dislikes, who’ll show you new & old books to suit you, 60 minutes reserved in the comfy chair in the bibliotherapy room, reserved time in the reading booth, £75 of books chosen during the bibliotherapy session, AND a ‘reading treats’ goody bag containing (amongst others things) organic hot chocolate, a Mr B’s mug and a special bookmark.
They also have author events, free book clubs and even a bookshop band playing during the interludes of their literary evenings. Oh, and there’s usually a pot of coffee on the go and the staff are massively knowledgeable about books (which seems obvious, but is often lacking in chain shops). I also really like that they support other independent retailers in the area, as well as smaller independent publishers.
I’m considering a road trip to Bath as soon as I’m well just to go to this shop. I am a geek.
Images from Mr. B’s website.