The fact it was a finalist in a competition I wasn't judging and there weren't any other bookshops in the shortlist of three is completely irrelevant. Gulliver's Bookshop in Wimborne, Dorset, was the highest placed bookshop window in The VM Christmas Awards (and was beaten by Hamleys toy shop) so I reckon it's a winner. Everyone please give them a big round of applause.
Having said that, now I've visited the bookshop I pretty much think the whole town of Wimbourne is a winner for having such a lovely destination at its heart.
Non-fiction runs along one wall, and everything from a biography about setting up a space observatory to essays on the story of water caught my attention, with an equally diverse fiction offering opposite. It even – joy of joys – had a whole bookcase of science fiction, with titles by the likes of John Christopher and Brandon Sanderson (I bought The End of the World Running Club by Adrian J Walker). While the other end of the fiction offered a good selection of the classics.
Gulliver's Bookshop is family-owned, and I was lucky enough to find out more about the various generations' dedication to the trade when I got chatting to the booksellers. They're a welcoming, knowledgeable family who obviously care deeply about books and the community, it was a pleasure talking to them.
Finally, Gulliver's also organises Wimborne Literary Festival, if you happen to be in the area in the middle of May.
47 High Street, Wimborne Minster,
Dorset, BH21 1HS
Tel: 01202 882677
*I suggested he might need the book if he's ever to have a hope of beating me. He took the joke quite well, probably better than he will when he realises I'm mocking him now.