Bookshop Reviews

Bookshop Guide: Oxfam, Thame and Aylesbury

Oxfam Bookshop Thame

In the month in which the number of pound shops in Aylesbury trebles, it’s time to get thrifty and grab a bargainCharity shops and books are all too often a depressing combination. Tucked away in a corner, generally beyond the sherry glasses, 70s tea sets, brass holiday souvenirs and other unloved chintz, charity shop books…

Bookshop Guide: Waterstones, Oban

First in a new mini seriesOban is a quite remarkable little town. Nestling beneath the strange folly of McCaig’s Tower, (picture a Roman arena or a mini Colosseum plonked on top of a small hill and you’ll get the idea), the town’s setting is picture-perfect, occupying a wonderful, sheltered bay.  In winter, the town’s population shrinks to a mere 8,500; in summer,…

Bookshop Guide: Waterstones, Oxford

Final part of mini series reviewing local bookshopsWhere Blackwell’s inspires, Waterstones in Oxford frustrates. Occupying a prime corner position between the Cornmarket and Broad Street, this slightly down at heels outlet – urgently in need of a refit –  is often crowded, shabby and dispiriting. The visitor is surprised that in such a temple of…

Bookshop Guide: Waterstones, Aylesbury

Waterstones in Aylesbury

Part of a mini series reviewing local bookshopsPoor Aylesbury. My town by adoption has not been treated well by generations of planners. The Sixties were the beginning of the problems, when winding streets were bulldozed to make way for the retail monstrosity of Friars Square. Once used for the filming of A Clockwork Orange, the shopping centre…

Bookshop Guide: Blackwell’s, Oxford

By Soham Banerjee (Flickr) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

First in a new series exploring local bookshopsFew names are as famous in the world of academic book selling as Blackwell’s. In 1879, Benjamin Blackwell opened his tiny bookshop in Broad Street in Oxford. Surrounded by illustrious colleges, Mr Blackwell’s business prospered, gradually taking over the warren of old buildings which still constitute the heart…