Brilliant Bookshops

Brilliant Bookshop: Books on the Hill, Clevedon


Today, I visited Books on the Hill, a local treasure which is found in Clevedon. Run by Alistair and Chloe, the shop has a wonderful range of books on offer- and some interesting additions not usually found in a bookshop- loose leaf teas and a fabulous range of tea pots!


The Children’s section is very well-stocked, offering a wide range of titles, I was delighted to find the new ‘Seaview Stables’ from Tracey Corderoy - signed from a recent event Alistair had provided a book shop for. i also bought ‘The Electric Venus’ by Julie Mayhew, the new Dundoodle Mystery by David O’Connell and The Winged Horse Race by Kallie George.


A delightful range of picture books is also available. There is plenty of choice and the books are attractively displayed, making it easy to browse and discover those must-have purchases. This year’s World Book Day books are proudly displayed in their own stand and the shop also offers an interesting range of cards and bags.


Books on the Hill is an active part of the community, offering author events in store as well as supporting events elsewhere. They recently provided us with a bookshop for Sophie Henn’s visit and are coming again on Friday, when Duncan Beedie will be with us. They are also supporting Clevedon School with a gifting scheme to fill their new library. Such an excellent idea!


Light and airy, the shop is spread over three levels, with space used cleverly to maximise space and appeal. Offering a range of books from independent publishers and specialising in dyslexic-friendly books and the Sci-fi and Fantasy genres, this is a shop to investigate!

Books on the Hill, Hill Road, Clevedon, North Somerset BS21 7PL
Telephone: 01275 873647

Half Term Book Crawl!


This week, I have been on a quest to seek out some of the best books on offer for this year’s North Somerset Teachers’ Book Awards 2019. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! Although I wasn’t able to visit as many as I’d hoped due to other things getting in the way, I managed to visit some in London, Bath, Bristol and Taunton.


It’s always a pleasure to pop in to Waterstones Picadilly and have a browse in the children’s section. I love the way it is laid out and the displays they have. I found some great non-fiction ideas here as well as some suggestions for our Read Aloud category.


Close by is Hatchards- delightfully charming with its old-fashioned air and quiet rooms- another favourite for spending some time. I spent quite a while sitting in their children’s room, exploring a large pile of treasures. Found some wonderful picture books here!


Although not a bookshop and alarmingly changed since I used to visit as a child, I must include this picture of Paddington I took when I popped into Hamleys as it made me very happy!


Foyles on the Southbank was a veritable cornucopia of book-ish delight for many categories. Once again, there was lots of wonderful non-fiction and I chose a few books which I think will work really well as Quality Fiction candidates.


Foyles in Bristol was equally interesting and offered some additional finds. (This picture was taken a while ago as I forgot to take a photo whilst there!)


Bath offers the triple joy of Waterstones, Mr B’s and Toppings.


All three produced some great ideas, but poetry remains the hardest category to find a wide selection of ideas for. Still, we will continue searching!


Visiting Mr B’s was a particular delight this time as they have extended and now have their new children’s room which is a wonderful space, well worth a visit.


Finally, I visited the stalls at Reading Rocks on Saturday. Book Island were there with their usual fabulous selection of very original and beautiful picture books. Bookwagon had a stall there with lots of lovely books, many translated or by authors/ illustrators from other countries. The main bookshop was provided by The Roving Bookshop whose range never ceases to amaze me. I found some real treasures, not necessarily for the awards, but wonderful books it’s hard to get hold of now! I think we need a new award’s category to pay tribute to these!


So, lots of lovely new books ready for consideration, but many more still to discover! Let’s get reading!

Brilliant Bookshop: StorySmith, Bristol


A new bookshop has appeared on North Street in Bristol. Not having been able to visit before due to being ill, I took the first chance I had to visit and find out more for myself.


Laid out over two floors, StorySmith is bright and welcoming. There are plenty of chairs and beanbags available, encouraging visitors to have a coffee and browse the selection of books. The calm atmosphere is perfect for allowing you to take time as you make your choices.


The children’s section offers a lovely range of fiction and non-fiction. Colourful hot air balloons hang overhead and tempting beanbags are scatted by the shelves , offering comfort to those hunting for their next read. There is also a comfy chair in this section for those of us no longer able to get out of a beanbag- if we managed to get into one in the first place! Everything is laid out to encourage exploration of the shelves and make children feel that they - and their book choices - are valued.


There is a lovely selection of picture books on offer too, many in hardback, including favourites like Shifty McGifty and PomPom. Unlike in many shops, these are at child height, making them easy to reach and explore.


StorySmith also offers a good YA section with plenty of appealing titles. Although I only briefly looked at the selection of books for adults, I was impressed by the variety of subjects and titles available here too. Space has been very well used to maximise the number of books for sale, yet offer comfort and room for browsing and relaxing. The staff were welcoming and very helpful, making a return visit a must!


Storysmith, 49 North Street, Bristol, BS3 1EN