Your bookshops #28, Westwood Books

No one is defined by a love for just one thing, so as much as I love bookshops I'm also a fan of many other things. Including cats. Which is how I came to meet Pootle on Twitter. Fortunately, it turns out he's a fan of other things too, including books and cake. So cut yourself a slice of cake and sit down and read about his bookshop recommendation...

Westwood Books
Yorkshire Dales National Park, Long Lane, Sedbergh, Cumbria, LA10 5AH
Tel: 01539 621233
Posted: 23rd April 2017

Westwood Books is located in the English book town of Sedbergh, a small town in Cumbria. Sedbergh is located on the border of the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales, so the scenery is worth the trip here in itself. Westwood Books forms part of the Dales and Lakes Bookshop Trail. It should be noted that parking is limited within the town of Sedbergh, and it is a popular destination for hikers. To the left, as you face the bookstore, a track leads into the hills and the ruins of a motte and bailey castle.

The bookshop itself is a mix of old stone construction with a modern glass entrance, mixing the old and new like the stock inside. Inside, you are greeted by a spacious open area displaying the new stock, a mixture of premium and budget stock and a selection of literary based gifts of mugs, postcards, etc. There is a good selection of bestsellers and budget imprints, including a display of chapbooks collecting smaller works of well known authors.

At the back of the ground floor, a small staircase decorated with portraits of famous literary characters (all for sale) leads you to a mezzanine of vintage hardbacks that look gorgeous collected on the shelf and would be a proud part of any collection. From here, a staircase hidden behind a bookcase leads you onto the first floor.

On the first floor is the selection of pre-loved books, with bookshelves filled with a wide selection of genres covering fiction and non-fiction, and a bookshelf of Folio Society editions. There’s a quiet atmosphere in the shop, apart from the mechanical roar of the air conditioning when it starts up, encouraging you to browse all the books on offer at a sedate pace.

The store was lightly staffed, with only the counter clerk clearly visible. I’m a fan of this as I don’t like to be harried while I’m browsing. I didn’t notice anyone asking for advice or availability of books so couldn’t comment on the demeanour and expertise of the staff.

By the exit is a small coffee machine, with cups available from the counter. Outside the entrance is small seating area, shielded from the main road by planting, where you can quietly peruse your purchases with a drink. Ideal in the sunshine, but not for the colder months.

I was on the lookout for a number of the Wordsworth Classics books, which retail for the bargain price of £1.99 each. In particular I was after the H.G. Wells books due for release this year, and possibly any collections of short ghost stories. In the end I purchased:
Alexandre Dumas - Twenty Years Later
Alexandre Dumas - The Man In The Iron Mask
H.G. Wells - The Invisible Man & The Food of the Gods
H.G. Wells - The War of the Worlds & the War in the Air
H.G. Wells - The Island of Dr Moreau

Thank you very much to Pootle for introducing us to this gem in the Yorkshire Dales. I keep meaning to spend more time back in the north, and this bookshop looks like another reason for me to visit.

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