Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A great bookshop

IN these tough times for book shops (I still find the demise of Borders in the UK heartbreaking) isn't it heartening to discover those small, independent booksellers who battle on regardless?

One of my favourite bookshops is Sam Read Bookseller in Grasmere in the Lake District. This snug, friendly shop is an absolute delight. And it's extremely good if you're looking for children's books.

I was born and brought up in Kendal in the Lake District, although live elsewhere now. But my family and I still visit regularly and each year spend a week in Grasmere. No visit is complete for my two children without a good peruse at Sam Read's.

Even though the shop is only small, it is perfectly formed. It's in an attractive slate-built building so typical of the Lakes and the owner does a lovely job of tempting book lovers to go in and sample the wares. The last time we were there I was particularly taken with a handsome copy of Neil Gaiman's The Dangerous Alphabet.

Don't take my word for it, however, journalist and author Hunter Davies (a fellow Cumbrian) rates Sam Read's as one of his favourite bookshops anywhere. As the author of many famous titles, including the only authorised biography of The Beatles, and the creator of the Lakeland Book of the Year competition, Hunter knows what he's talking about.

If you ever find yourself in the Lake District and passing Grasmere, please do pay a visit to Sam Read's. You won't be disappointed.

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