Brilliant Bookshops

Brilliant Bookshops: Blandford Books, Broadway, Worcestershire

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In the beautiful Cotswolds village of Broadway, you can find Blandford Books. Its bay windows are bursting with delights, offering a taste of what’s inside.

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The shop offers a wonderful range of picture books, mixing firm favourites with new releases. These are temptingly displayed with book character toys like Paddington and the Moomins scattered around. Framed pictures and quotes are also displayed amongst the books declaring things like ‘Reading is Fun!’

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The selection of titles available for the primary age range was particularly good and I found some real treats which I had not seen in other shops.

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Sadly, I was not allowed to take photos in the shop; when I asked permission, the ladies explained that this was not possible as so many people come in, take pictures of the books they like the look of and then go and order them from Amazon! Sad times! However, I have taken pictures of the books I bought instead!

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The shop doesn’t have a YA section as the ladies explained that their sales of these have never picked up really since e-readers have been popular. The adult section covers a wide range of subjects and there are lots of cards and gifts on sale as well.

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A lovely bookshop in a beautiful little town, Blandford Books is well worth a visit! You can look at their website here.

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Brilliant Bookshops: Jaffe and Neale, Stow-on-the-Wold.

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Although sunny, it was chilly in Stow-in-the-Wold today, but that did nothing to spoil a visit to a brilliant bookshop. Having already visited the Jaffe and Neale shop in Chipping Norton during the Chip Lit Fest (read our post here ), I had high hopes that it would be full of tempting treats- and it was!

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Cleverly used space combines coffee shop and book shop without feeling cluttered. The door opens onto the adult section with a very generous array of subjects on offer. A little display on the left hand side hints at the joys in store when you reach the children’s section at the rear of the shop, but there’s plenty to browse whilst on the way there!

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Light and airy, the shop’s clean, wooden shelving makes an attractive display for the wonderful books on offer. Make your way up the steps at the back, and you find yourself in an open room with a lovely display unit in the middle, covered in children’s books. So many delightful books! Beanbags by the shelves and coffee tables offer plenty of space to sit and read whilst choosing.

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Whilst I was selecting books from my favourite section (children’s!), my dad and husband were finding plenty to please them on other shelves whilst my mum was enjoying reading ‘Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different’. There really was something for everyone!

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Whilst paying for our goodies, I was delighted to find that the lady behind the till was not only very helpful and polite, but also a joy to speak to as she had read Nevermoor ( now on this year’s Read Aloud Short list- read our review here ) and was enjoying Wundersmith which I am currently reading! It is so wonderful to chat to like-minded people, particularly in a bookshop! Knowledgeable staff can really help guide and recommend and are worth their weight in gold- or books!

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We didn’t have a chance to sample the delicious looking cake, but this is a brilliant bookshop we all agreed needs to be visited again! So I’ll have a piece of this lovely looking lemon drizzle cake next time please!

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You can find out more about Jaffe and Neale on their website.

Brilliant Bookshops: Winstone's, Sidmouth, Devon

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On the High Street of the pretty seaside town of Sidmouth, you will find Winstone's Bookshop. Very much at the heart of the town, a constant stream of customers flowed through its doors whilst I was there, visitors exclaiming in delight at the range of books on offer, locals heading straight for their favourite sections. But tourist or resident, everyone was greeted warmly and made to feel welcome.

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Selling a wonderful range of both adult and children's books, the shop is light and the space is well laid out, offering a balance between there being something new to look at at every turn and there being enough space to move round the shop comfortably!

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A wonderful selection of Asterix and Tintin books sit proudly with a range of graphic novels. Tintin is obviously a favourite in store as there is also a tempting range of bags in different colours featuring him and Snowy scattered around the shop! Very hard to resist! (I didn't!)

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The 'latest' titles are on offer, but there is a good balance with older titles as well. It was particularly pleasing to notice that certain shelves weren't dominated by the complete works of some authors to the exclusion of others.

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The young man behind the counter was extremely helpful, polite and knowledgeable and we had a very interesting conversation about his passion for fiction in translation and he offered some recommendations- just the sort of person you wish to find in a bookshop. Whilst I was in the shop, he answered lots of queries and made suggestions to those in need.

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With shops in Sherborne (Dorset) and Frome (Somerset- see our Brilliant Bookshop post here), the South West is lucky to have these brilliant bookshops in their midst. 

Winstone's, 10, High Street, Sidmouth, Devon

Visit their website here.