Your bookshops #15, Badgers Books

As her introduction explains, I met Abbie at a bookshop party a few years ago, where I was quietly overwhelmed to be meeting the author of the Literary First Aid Kit, which hadn't long been published at the time. It's therefore an honour to be able to feature her in Your bookshops, and I hope you enjoy this bookshopping trip with her.

Badgers Books
8-10 Gratwicke Road, Worthing,
West Sussex, BN11 4BH
Tel: 01903 211816
Published: 10th April, 2016

Before I tell you about Badgers Books in Worthing, let me introduce myself. I am a reader, an occasional writer, a perma-tweeter and a publishing person, and it’s thanks to the last two of these traits that I met Erica the Bookshop Blogger a couple of years ago at a Books Are My Bag party in the new Foyles. (It was really new then, but to me it’ll always be the new Foyles. I’m sure I’m not the only one.) I admire this blog immensely and, to be frank, feel a little nervous about guesting on it, but I do love a good bookshop and so I hope this will be worthy of inclusion. So, on with the bookshop review! 

I recently took a trip to Worthing with Jeremy, the man in my life, from our home in Southsea. If you haven’t been to Worthing, you must go. Like Southsea, it has a wonderful expanse of sea to look out on and some great places to buy fish and chips. It seems to have fewer tattoo parlours than Southsea and it definitely has fewer piers, but the one pier it does have outclasses ours by some distance, as one of ours is closed pending repairs and the other goes the wrong way (along instead of out – not an impressive trait in a pier). Worthing Pier, by contrast, has a theatre that actually has shows in it and a tearoom at the very end where you would not be surprised to see Hercule Poirot sipping a tisane. It is quite, quite marvellous. 

And as well as boasting some excellent sea furniture, Worthing is blessed with a nice big Waterstones and, as a pleasing complement, Badgers Books, just a few minutes’ walk away. 

I am not a terribly demanding person when it comes to bookshops. In this day and age, I am simply delighted to find a bookshop at all. However, there are some things that make a bookshop a pleasant place to be, which I shall enumerate here: 
  1. A welcoming aspect, combined with… 
  2. …the prospect of hidden treasures within. 
  3. Books you didn’t know you wanted, or in fact didn’t know existed until now. 
  4. Friendly staff. 
If I had to choose only one of these, it would be the last one, because being frowned at by booksellers takes the fun out of it a bit, and it does happen sometimes. 

Exhibit A reveals a tick for Requirement No. 1. See how the passers-by (including the noble Jeremy, in the foreground) are helplessly drawn in by the wares displayed in the winter sunshine. 

On to Exhibit B, and a teasing combination of gold-blocked hardbacks and Beatles fanzines reveals this bookshop has something for every taste. There’s no way you can resist exploring further with temptations so diverse.

Exhibit C answers Requirement No.3 with a blast of the diapasons of Chichester Cathedral that’s loud enough to shake the rocky geology of Hartland Bay. Surprise books? Tick and tick.

And this is where I have to confess there is no Exhibit D to demonstrate the extent to which Badgers Books fulfils Requirement No.4. I, being both British and shy, am much more comfortable taking pictures of things that can’t answer back than real live roaming booksellers. Suffice it to say the man in the bookshop was friendly and enthusiastic – chatting to him about our purchases and about books in general was the cherry on the bookshopping cake.

So, in lieu of a picture of a smiling bookseller, here’s a snap of our book haul for the day.

Thank you Abbie for confirming my belief Badgers Books is a great place to visit. If this hasn't tempted people to take a trip to Worthing then I don't know what will, but if it helps, here are my thoughts on the bookshop.

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