An Independent Bookshop with a Unique Twist…
As most of you know (and if you didn’t, you do now), I’m a lover of bookshops. Big, small, chain, independent, it doesn’t matter to me, I just love to go in and have a look around and soak up the atmosphere – not to mention the yummy new book smell.
So when I read some press about a canal boat/barge which was a bookshop, I was intrigued. What a fantastic and completely unique idea – books on a boat! I found The Book Barge on Facebook and began checking every now and again to see when they would be close enough to where I live to go and visit. And yesterday was the day… they were going to be in Kidderminster. Not particularly close, but close enough, and there was a National Trust property nearby that we wanted to visit anyway, so we could kill two birds with one stone.
Unfortunately, The Book Barge couldn’t moor up in Kidderminster so they floated north to Kinver, changing our plans slightly (it turned out to be a completely positive change of plan, we visited a different National Trust place which was awesome!). Anyway, we finally ended up in the same place at the same time and The Book Barge was every bit as cool as I expected. I spent a lot of time chatting with Sarah, the owner, and found out more about the shop and what it was about. The boat is currently nearing the end of a six month jaunt around the UK (follow the Facebook and Twitter feeds to find out when it’s going to be near you), spreading the word about independent bookselling. As well as getting hold of books in the traditional fashion, i.e. in exchange for money, Sarah is also ‘swapping’ books for essentials – i.e. the use of a washing machine or hot shower, accommodation and food – so bear that in mind if the barge is headed your way!
Excitingly for me, Sarah was well open to the idea of stocking erotica (I actually spotted an erotic book while I was there!) and even hosting readings and signings. No doubt we’ll be exchanging ideas over the coming weeks, so watch this space! I also dropped off some postcards and bookmarks, so if The Book Barge is in your area please pop in, buy (or exchange something for) a book and grab yourself a bookmark and some postcards!