Books & Ink Bookshop
4 White Lion Shopping Walk, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 5UD
Tel: 01295 709769
Published: 6th March, 2016
Just before Christmas, it was my blog’s second anniversary – although I had initially lacked a way of marking it. However, happenstance (as is its wont) provided divine inspiration (‘theopneusty’), by way of a necessary visit to our nearest railway station; and a consequential impulsive diversion to Books & Ink: “Banbury’s Independent Booksellers” – which has just celebrated its tenth birthday. Huzzah!
Samantha Barnes – who “runs the shop single-handedly apart from her mum” – is utterly representative of the business she has built (or possibly the other way around: this is definitely an archetypal “room of one’s own”): an enthusiastic and extremely knowledgeable lover of all things literary. Talk of books – what else – and her face lights up with what I can only describe as encyclopaedic joy!
This is therefore a place to linger. And it must be said the shop itself has a mystique that would not feel out of place on Diagon Alley: such is its magical allure. (No wonder those who visit White Lion Walk – a sort of modern muggle facsimile – rarely do so only once; and that loyal customers may travel quite some distance to visit.) In fact, its location – “up a pretty alley I’ve never noticed before” – in Banbury Old Town, seems so apposite; and makes it a place you have to actively seek: knowing the rewards for doing so will be immeasurable, unquantifiable by any tangible means (apart from arm-ache, of course). Whatever your predilection, this place is a perfect paradise.
Thank you to Stephen for allowing an abridged version of his experience at Books & Ink Bookshop to appear in #YourBookshops. If you'd like to read the full version (you would) then I suggest you click here.