Inspiring Older Readers
Cheltenham Rare Books, Cheltenham
Here's some great news - a new second hand book shop has opened. Situated right next door to the brilliant Peter Lyons book shop, Cheltenham Rare Books is still in the process of setting up and getting going. We visited with the front room just about done and full of books but with the shelves still being built in the back rooms. I have to say this whole set-up looks very promising indeed.
The space inside the shop is generous and well proportioned - the choice of light wood floor to ceiling shelves helps keep a clean and clear feel. The books on the shelves that we saw are excellent and beautifully kept - the dust jackets are all covered and the really expensive and collectible copies are inside smaller glass cabinets. For lovers of 20th century fiction classics there is plenty of evidence that this place is going to be a treasure trove.
The prices aren't cheap but they are fair - this is a place for collectors who want to supplement their collection with top-notch items and so, understandably, you have to pay for rarity. However, there are plenty of interesting examples of books at lower to mid-range prices and I even noticed that some of the stock has been pretty generously discounted already. I like that - it's a sign that the owner wants to turn stuff over and not hang on to it insisting on unrealistic prices.
No doubt there will be those who scratch their heads wondering why on earth a dealer would open up shop right next door to such a gem of a shop as Peter Lyons who has been there a while and is so well established. I don't think it's hard to understand at all - create a book community and you make a potential buyers visit twice as exciting. I understand that the two owners have known each other for some years and have a gentleman's agreement in place to enhance and supplement each others business rather than to compete. All this is great news in my view because I love to see Cheltenham become a great book centre.
Go along and support Cheltenham Rare Books and we will go back in a little while when the work is complete and update this review. Oh, and while you're at it, pop into Peter Lyons too - you know you want to.