One of the reasons we started our Instagram account was to shout out amazing independent bookshops. When we go on our travels, we always try to visit a bookseller and buy a couple of titles so we’ll be posting about those trips on here, but before we get started, I’d like to give you a tour of one of our local bookshops, Scrivener’s Books & Bookbinding. Situated in the UK spa town of Buxton, it has five floors of full of second-hand books ranging across a huge variety of subjects from fiction through to conjuring to caving. The shop also sells rare titles online via Abebooks.
When you first walk in, you’re greeted by shelves of first editions and a busy bookbinding workshop at the rear of the shop. I always get side-tracked by the collectible children’s books next to the counter. Here you’ll find titles from authors such as Enid Blyton and Arthur Ransome. There’s an immediate sense of discovery and anticipation which continues as you climb to the first floor past a small, yet well-curated stationery section which stocks wrapping paper and cards. Don’t forget to check the King Penguins and vintage Puffins on the way – there are some gems here.
Once you’ve browsed this area you enter my favourite room which houses adult fiction, the main collection of children’s books and a little tea station complete with comfy armchairs (you pay via an honesty box). If you’re looking for fiction, it’s worth devoting your time to this floor. The majority of books at Scrivener’s are secondhand and priced reasonably so you have a good chance of finding some bargains in here.
If you can tear yourself away from the snug and take the stairs to the second floor, you’ll be rewarded with yet more treasures. On the way, there’s a bookcase full of Folio Society editions, followed by a series of rooms containing sheet music, plays, poetry and sheet music, as well as a harmonium that you can play if you fancy having a go.
All good adventures involve an attic and this one’s no exception. Filled with maps to everywhere, travel guides, boxes containing strange and wonderful tomes, it’s worth the ascent. For some reason the science fiction is also stored up here so I always check the latest stock. After a good browse, it’s back down to the bottom, most likely with a pile of tottering books!
But don’t leave before checking out the cellar. There’s a surprise waiting down there for you – a tiny Victorian museum with the original range cooker as well as more books, this time history, art and sport. You can easily spend a few hours in this wonderfully rambling bookstore. It has a really cosy feel – almost as if you’re in someone’s home and in my mind, that’s the best compliment that any shop can have.
With Kids: Children are welcomed at Scrivener’s Books and Bookbinding. Keep them occupied on the first floor by setting up the bookish board game or introducing them to the giant cuddly tiger. You can stock up on biscuits and drinks here too. There’s limited room for a buggy on the ground floor but no lift. Buxton easily has enough to entertain a family for a day or a weekend away. Here are some other places of interest that we recommend:
Eating options are varied. We like the Cafe at the Green Pavilion , 53 Degrees North and Poole’s Cavern Cafe (note this is about 20 minutes’ walk from the shop) Scrivener’s Books Opening Times Monday to Saturday: 9.30am – 5 pm Sunday: 12 noon – 4pm Find them on Facebook
If you enjoyed this tour, check out our other bookshop posts.