Your bookshops #18 Booka

I'm always grateful when people write and share their own bookshop experiences, but with this one I have to apologise, because Amy – who is a part-time book blogger but full-time book nerd and writes this cleverly-named blog – kindly wrote this more than a month ago but I've only just had the chance to upload it. Even worse, I have to apologise to Booka too, because I have visited this brilliant bookshop but not yet written about it*. The bookshop is wonderful, as this guest post hopefully helps you to realise.
26-28 Church Street, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 2SP
Tel: 01691 662244
Published: 24th July, 2016

In my humble opinion chilling with friends is an excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon. And chilling with friends who just happen to live in a town with an excellent independent bookshop? Just sign me up and take my money already! So when Erica put out a call for submissions on Twitter and revealed she hadn’t yet blogged about Booka, it seemed like an excellent reason (read, excuse!) to persuade my long-suffering husband to take a trip across the county border into Shropshire and go visit a bookshop… and our friends, of course!

I love all bookshops but Booka has a special place in my heart simply because they excel at what they do. From the outside big picture windows, usually decorated to advertise their next author or book club event, invite you in to a light and airy interior that somehow manages to feel both spacious and cosy. The shop is partly given over to a small café area, serving coffees, light bites and delicious wedges of cake and they also have a central bay reserved for quirky gift items, cards and stationary, many of which are Shropshire or Oswestry themed. As for the remainder of the space, floor-to-ceiling white shelving and a range of lower display tables provide plenty of space for fiction and non-fiction titles, specialist sections such as poetry and nature writing and a bright and welcoming children’s corner to the back of the shop. 

My visit coincided with looking for a Father’s Day gift and the nature section duly came up with the goods. As a keen fisherman, I’m sure Dad will find Rivers Run: An Anglers Journey from Sea to Source by Kevin Parr a fascinating read. I was also trying to get my hands on a copy of the poetry collection that accompanies Carol Ann Duffy’s Shore to Shore tour and is the official book of Independent Bookshop Week 2016. Alas, Booka haven’t taken delivery yet but the lovely bookseller happily took my details so they could call me when it arrived – I can either have a copy put aside at the shop to collect or they’ll post it to me for a small fee. She also managed to rustle up a #bardabag for me to replace my previous much-loved Books Are My Bag tote that finally gave up the ghost last week following years of use. 

After making my purchases, my friends and I happily sampled some of Booka’s coffee and cake – the hazelnut and chocolate cake really is as good as it looks – and whiled away an hour setting the world to rights before heading out to spend an afternoon at the nearby park. As always, it was a pleasant visit to a fabulous shop. 

Booka won the Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2015 and it really isn’t hard to see why – it’s a great bookshop and one that is well worth making a special visit to. 

Thank you so much to Amy for sharing this visit with us. I can confirm every word she says about Booka is true, as I'll be telling you sometime soon.

*I have now, finally, featured Booka Bookshop on the main part of the blog. You can find my post here.

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