Independent bookshops are increasingly rare and when you stumble across one in town, the joy of exploring inside is tangible. Many of them have been there for years and provide a fundamental service to local people. It is true that they must compete with online sites and chains, but there is something magical about an independent shop. Perhaps it is the staff who have a wealth of knowledge about the books they sell. Or maybe it is the feeling you are in a place that is different. You are not in a shop where you could be anywhere in the country and not everything looks the same. In fact, you are in a place that looks like no other and that is the essence of an independent bookshop. It is a living, breathing place that has an energy that makes you want to explore every shelf and every genre. Perhaps you will be introduced to a new book you had never thought of reading.
The Haslemere Bookshop has been on Haslemere High Street for nearly 50 years. Under new ownership for the past five, the shop has taken on a fresh lease of life with author events and the forming of a book club.
The staff aim to make the shop warm and friendly. Here, everyone is welcome. As you ascend the stairs, you will find a large second-hand section so there is something here for every budget.
Often in troubling times, we turn to books to make sense of the world. Here is The Haslemere Bookshop staff’s current recommended reading list:
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
A richly imagined portrait of the Spanish Civil War by a master storyteller. An epic novel about hope, exile and belonging. Recommended by Sue.
This Too Shall Pass by Julia Samuels
A timely book about learning how to adapt and thrive in times of crisis and change. Written by an acclaimed psychotherapist this book has the power to radically change the way you think. Recommended by Cathy.
Station Eleven by Emily St.John Mandel
We don’t know if we’d encourage you to read this one right now as it’s about a global pandemic! Station Eleven is a fairly chilling read but does offer a hopeful vision of humanity in crisis. Recommended by Emily
You Think It I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
This is our current book club choice! A great collection of witty short stories, perfect for dipping into but also completely addictive!
Bookshops offer us hope, reflection and space to discover ourselves. Take the time to browse your local bookshop in Surrey this year and perhaps you will uncover a whole new world to escape to.
“It’s always a pleasure to give in to temptation. And what better temptation is there than a real bookshop full of irresistible books.” – Alexander McCall Smith
Visit The Haslemere Bookshop at the-haslemere-bookshop.heyweb.com