To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week, Sarah Morgan (The Summer Seekers) joins us to share her love of bookshops and Cornwall!
Picking books for Padstow
Lately, it seems that many more people have discovered the joys of holidaying in Cornwall, but it’s a place we’ve been returning to as a family for more than two decades. Every year, during those last, lazy days of summer, we would head to Padstow with buckets, bodyboards, boots and books, ready to dig in the sand, walk the cliffs, splash in the waves and, of course, read.
Holidays meant undisturbed reading time, sometimes on the cliff with grass tickling our legs, and sometimes on the beach with sand under our toes and finding its way into the pages. For a few years Padstow was without a bookshop so the choice of which books to pack took on added importance. Books were squeezed into overstuffed suitcases and tucked into corners of the car. In those years we’d occasionally head to Wadebridge, cycling along the Camel Trail and then back again with the weight of our new purchases weighing down backpacks (hardbacks forbidden!).
Browsing is encouraged!
The news that a new bookshop was opening in Padstow added an extra level of anticipation to our pre-holiday excitement. The moment we arrived we headed to the harbour and there, just steps away from the water, its corner position and pretty paintwork equipping it to play a starring role in a Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan movie, was The Padstow Bookseller. Since that day it has become a favourite holiday haunt.
It’s a relatively small space, and yet there is something for everyone on its well-curated shelves. There are local titles, plenty of Cornish and sea-themed books, a great selection of picture books for the younger bookworm, signed editions, and shelves and shelves of books you didn’t know you needed but suddenly discover you do. You know you’re in a great bookshop when you go in with a plan to buy one book and leave with four. I confess that the day I found one of my own books on their shelves was a career highlight for me. The staff are knowledgeable and welcoming, browsing is encouraged, and if I lived in Cornwall I’d be in there every day. I can’t wait to go back.