Thursday, 30 January 2014

A visit to The Tree House Bookshop in Kenilworth

Round about a year ago whilst researching bookshops online I came across a local wannabe bookshop based in Kenilworth. This bookshop immediately stood out to me as the idea's that Victoria the owner had mirrored mine exactly. Used books, music, poetry, comedy, events, refreshments; basically a community hub. At the time I stumbled across her blog she had just started selling at Kenilworth's local market but after a few weeks it didn't seem to be taking off. I started to send a few tweets and emails to wish her luck and to stick with it and quite soon after, she managed to secure a premises. Although rocky at the start, the shop is now slowly getting more and more visitors and holds regular film nights and other events. After we'd been in touch for more or less a year I thought it was about time I took the 40 minute drive to go and introduce myself and see the shop.
The shop is a great space and is filled with bookcases of all shapes and sizes and several big comfy sofas and chairs to sit and relax (I think Victoria must have stolen my business plan). It's tucked away just behind the main street and at the moment unfortunately doesn't have a sign but Victoria tells me a local artist is knocking one up as we speak! It's all about getting the local community together. Once this sign is up I'm sure the shop will become the go-to place that it's set up to be. Although it was a cold wet Wednesday morning, there was a steady stream of customers, some obviously regulars, plus someone dropping off a bag of books. I spent a good half hour chatting to Victoria about setting up, opening and now the daily running of the shop. Her insight was really appreciated as it has given me more ideas to play with for The Big Comfy Bookshop. Victoria runs the shop on her own with sporadic help from volunteers and I will be in the same boat, at least at the start. She is currently looking for someone to help with events so get in touch with her if you think you could lend a hand.
I then spent half an hour browsing and came away with The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and Rupert Everett's first autobiography 'Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins', along with a free bookmark!
Bookshops ran by a sole individual are done so out of the love and care for the local community, with little if any monetary rewards, so I urge you to head on over to The Tree House Bookshop and see for yourself. You can even help yourself to tea and coffee.
You can visit the Tree House Bookshop at:

5-7 Abbey End,

As for my own shop, I will be visiting the Fargo Village site on February 11th for a walk around and get more info on opening. You can like me on Facebook HERE, follow me on twitter HERE and buy books from the website HERE.

Thanks again Victoria for the warm hospitality.