Every now and then I'll be asked if I have a favourite bookshop, and rather irritatingly I'll struggle to respond and will simply tell the questioner I love them all.
The Book Case in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is everything a small town bookshop should be. Big enough to meet the reading needs of its populace but small enough to be manageable, this bright and welcoming destination balances local interest alongside fact and fiction, with a fascinating array of featured books scattered throughout.
It's all topped off with a delightful children's section at the back. Meaning I was able to lose myself at the front of the shop while my friends helped their young daughter choose a book nearby.
And it has to be said, there's something really lovely about the sound of a child's laughter in a bookshop.
We weren't the only bookshoppers that morning, but everyone we encountered was friendly and obviously enjoyed their books and the sound of that youngster in the early stages of their reading life. And in between shoppers the bookseller was kept busy phoning more customers to let them know their orders had arrived - who needs to buy online when you've such friendly and efficient service to make the most of?
On the subject of that service, the bookseller surpassed himself with his book recommendations to my friends and cheerful chatter about books, the shop and surviving the winter flooding (the thought of being under so much water and still being able to quickly bounce back is incomprehensible to me).
Thankfully, the shop once again looks beautiful, with the flood a distant(ish) memory. Meaning we were able to browse and buy to our heart's content. As you can see, between us we picked up a good haul, with me finally getting my hands on a Melville House book, The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley.
A boutique found on a row of independent shops (I believe I only saw one chain in the whole town), The Book Case is quite simply a bookshop of loveliness surrounded by lots more independent loveliness wherever you look. We may have only been in Hebden Bridge for a couple of hours, but I'd highly recommend making a day of it and experiencing the warm welcome to be had in Yorkshire.
The Book Case
29 Market Street, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, HX7 6EU
Tel: 01422 845353