A bookshop with a coffee shop is one of the greatest combinations possible and holidays mean that there is time to visit such a place. The Bookshelf in Saltash is near where we often go on holiday and is run by a lovely, helpful, knowledgeable woman who could recommend books, was willing to order a book in on spec for us and we could look at it and decide whether or not to buy it. The tea came in pots with cute hand knitted tea cosies and the cake was obviously homemade. I want such places to exist so I can enjoy them on holiday but they will only continue to exist if people buy books (and eat cake!). We did both and I imagine made quite a contribution to the day’s takings.
The hypocrisy bit is that most of the books I buy the rest of the year are bought online and arrive in parcels at work. I don’t know of a similar bookshop near where I live which is perhaps a little sad as I live in the second biggest city in the UK but I wonder if I did whether I would make time to visit and but some of the many books I purchase each year there. (If anyone reading this does know of a similar bookshop in Birmingham then do let me know please). My favourite bookshop in the city is St Paul’s which is in part of the building of St Chad’s Cathedral and very close to the hospital where Paul works. Sadly they don’t have a coffee shop but as I write this I feel challenged about buying more books there and less online and hopefully putting this out there will give me a bit of a mental prompt next time I am looking to buy a book they might stock.