Inspiring Older Readers
Aardvark Books, Manor Farm, Brampton Bryan
There are lots of similarities between the excellent Astley Book Farm in Warwickshire and this one in Shropshire – both are huge and both a day trip in their own right. I’ve been a bit slow off the mark to make my way to Aardvark because it is in a pretty rural location and you have to make a very deliberate decision to go there - you’re not going to drop in on the way to somewhere else.
But it is certainly worth the effort if you want a vast array of books on just about every topic you might want. There really is something for everyone here and, unusually for many second hand shops, it has a a bit of a specialism when it comes to children’s books. The books are mostly second hand but in the children’s section in particular there are some new, remaindered books – including American editions – that they retail for half the cover price.
I came away with plenty of children’s titles but struggled to find much in terms of adult fiction or collectibles. In fact the section by the till that is dedicated to the more pricey collectible stock was disappointing and I certainly didn’t really think the stock merited the prices attached to quite ordinary stock in not very sparkling condition.
This is more than just a bookshop though – it’s clearly a community meeting place with a café and gifts, cards and other bits and bobs available to buy as well. It’s plenty big enough to ensure social distancing in these post Covid times and you can make it a destination for Bank Holidays if you fancy a day out.