Inspiring Older Readers
Cornell's Books, Tewkesbury
This is a second hand bookshop in a really lovely old, half-timbered building that's full of character. Access to the shop is down a covered corridor that is lined with paperback stock and usually a few tables with boxes of bargains that can sometimes surprise you with a real belter. When you go into the shop, immediately in front of you is the owners desk from where some pretty cool music is usually playing on a small portable - I like the jazz choices personally.
If you go through into the front room there are art books along one wall and, on the end wall, cinema and entertainment. There's also a good selection of Folio books in here at very fair prices and the condition of the stock is excellent. However, the focal point of this room is a table full of £1 clearance bargains and sifting through this is great fun. Clearly a decision has been made to move on stuff that's of no real specialist interest - which certainly doesn't mean its of no interest to lots of potential customers and I've left with bags of stuff that I've been able to pass on to friends who aren't themselves after collectibles but just want reading copies.
Back in the main room is plenty of more collectible stuff - children's books, topography, art, wild-life and fine bindings. The back room has more children's, history and military and quite a selection of maps. There is also fiction, drama and poetry - the stuff I'm most interested in - but these are probably some of the weakest and least interesting volumes in the store - which is a real shame. I understand that not all shops can specialise in the stuff I'm most keen on but it's always a little bit disappointing when the books I want to look at are a bit dull.
In many ways this is an old-fashioned bookshop that could be from almost any time over the past twenty or thirty years - but that's not a critiicism. It's nice to go back in time every now and then and we like any shop that provides a squashy, leather wing-back chair to sit in and contemplate the world....