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Peter Lyons, Cheltenham

posted on 01 Aug 2015

Peter Lyons Bookshop, Cheltenham

This is pretty much our favourite second-hand bookshop - if we could choose, this would be the one we'd want to have for ourselves. Why? Well, for lots of reasons really.

The shop is situated opposite the Cheltenham Town Hall in a Georgian(?) basement accessed by some slightly precarious steps and protected by some lovely ironwork railings and handrail. Unlike so many bookshops you don't have to fight your way to the shelves or navigate around piles of mouldering trash that should be pulped. There's a light, fresh feel to the shop and you are always given a bright, polite welcome from Peter himself - usually positioned behind the desk that faces the front door.

The shop specialises in children's literature and art but that only tells part of the story. You'll find a good selection of poetry, twentieth century fiction first editions and some more general stock. There is also a corner of the back room given over to vinyl records if you want the full collectors experience.

Let's be honest. The prices here aren't cheap but I also don't think they are inflated or unfair - they represent a strong market price - but they are good quality and they are well presented and looked-after. You might also find yourself able to pick up a signed edition of your favourite author because Peter's shop is well placed to attract authors visiting the Cheltenham literature festival in October who may stop by to browse the shelves as well as sign their books.

Anyone looking for first editions that have made their way onto past Booker shortlists will also be delighted by the ever growing shelving unit dedicated to that particular prize.

We'd be happy to spend time and money here and not begrudge a penny. Pay a visit and I'm sure you'll be hooked too if you love books that have been carefully selected and well presented. If you want to sell you'll get a fair hearing and you'll be dealt with respectfully and with Peter's impeccable courtesy.

 

Terry Potter

August 2015