I mentioned in my last post about The Diary of a Bookseller that I’d long wanted to visit Wenlock Books. And then, like sending a letter up the chimney at Christmas time and having your perfect present arrive as if by magic, a free day just dropped into my lap*.
So I took myself off to Much Wenlock, pottered in the sunshine, ate lunch BY MYSELF in a cafe with a wood-burning stove and then spent a couple of hours browsing in Much Wenlock’s two bookshops – Much More Books and Wenlock Books. It was bliss.
I have nothing but good things to say about Much More Books, which has plenty on offer and where I happily parted with some cash. But it’s true to say that Wenlock Books has my heart. It’s a perfect blend of old and new.
On the ground floor, you’ll find the ‘new’ in a clean, bright space where the books are more evenly spaced, the colours sing against the white walls and the selections are so perfectly curated that it was a little like wandering into a real-life manifestation of my TBR list.
Upstairs, the skeleton of the historic building is apparent in the wooden rafters. Here the ‘old’ or secondhand books are packed in on wandering shelves that run around the walls, in and out of various nooks and reading corners (all comfortably furnished with a chair).
In a relatively small space, there’s an absolute ton available and it’s hands down one of the best selections of fiction I’ve come across with quite up-to-date titles sitting alongside classic 19th and 20th century writers who you never seem to stumble upon in charity bookshops. There was also an outstanding biography / memoir section, but more on that another time.
If I can’t live or work there, I hope I can at least visit again soon.
And I’ll share the new additions to my library another day.
*Not strictly true – this never actually happens these days. In fact, my lovely husband offered me a day to myself and I bit his hand off like some kind of slavering hound.