Inspiring Older Readers
Ken Spelman Books, York
You'll find Ken Spelman Booksellers in Micklegate which I think must be a pretty trendy part of York if the cafes and other shops occupying this part of town are anything to go by - we had a very nice breakfast of tea and toast in an alternative lifestyle cafe just 5 minutes along the road. Spelman's itself is an interesting blend of old fashioned antiquarian stock, good general second hand and - this is the more unusual aspect of the shop - with high quality remainders that have an emphasis on fine art.
The art books are predominatly to be found in the front room of the shop and the choice of stock available is impressive. I was a little disappointed by the rather narrow selection of photography books but fine art is very well catered for. They also have a great range of three dimensional greeting cards which were apparently made by a local artist and are irresistible to anyone interested in illustration.
The back of the shop has a spread of subjects - the usual mix - with some older collectibles included in the illustrated editions. You have to go upstairs to find the modern or 20th century hardback fiction and there are good reading copies to be found here at decent prices.
The shop has very traditional dark wood shelving which helps to create a feeling that you are in a well-established bookshop and it is the sort of place its possible to spend quite a long time browsing, I might have bought a lot more if I didn't have to lug them home on the train!
We had a very pleasant time and the person staffing the till was welcoming and quite chatty - she told us about the local greeting card artist. There was a good buzz in the store while we were there with customers coming and going pretty frequently - some like us were out-of-towners which suggests that the shop is a popular destination for vistors.
I would recommend you go to check it out for yourself when you next get the chance.