The building towers over its surroundings, catching your eye as you meander through the higgledy-piggledy streets and guiding you to your destination. Which in my case was a bookshop. Now the obvious choice would be the traditional, antiquarian and secondhand bookshop that perfectly matches its historic surroundings. But I didn't hear about that one until after my visit was finished.
The bookshop is tiny, it's not the smallest I've ever visited, but the front room especially is not a place for swinging a cat. It's also bright and colourful and perfectly filled with everything you could need to inspire young (and old) minds, with youngsters being particularly lucky with the space allocated to the well-stocked children's section at the back.
The thing that stuck with me the most was the sense of fun. Apples sit along the top of bookshelves, cuddly literary characters are everywhere and the mix of books and other stuff is spot on. Wherever you look there's something to admire, pick up, open or investigate, and even the bookshelves offer more than meets the eye as books facing outwards hide other titles by the same author. This last detail was a particular favourite of mine as an invitation to discover extra treats.
The Little Apple Bookshop may not be a dedicated children's bookshop, but to me it's the perfect place to grow young readers.
The Little Apple Bookshop
13 High Petergate, York,
North Yorkshire, YO1 7EN
Tel: 01904 676103
*Yes, I also bought a birthday card. A few months after the visit I need to own up to one of the friends I was visiting York with: Sorry, I forgot your birthday, but at least I still managed to buy you a card before the day itself.