“The shop had hummed with community, in the works of the writers on its shelves and in the conversations of the people in the cafe.”

~ Owen Sheers

Booka - Oswestry

The current holder of the ‘UK & Ireland Bookshop of the Year’ award 2015, Booka was established in October 2009 and is run by a wife and husband team, Carrie and Tim Morris. It is located in the border market town of Oswestry, Shropshire. The bookshop has an adjoining cafe, and gives off a bright and airy ’boutique’ feel, and therefore is one of the town’s favourite bookshops – renowned for the quality of its book stock and its strong community focus.

The bookshop stocks a great selection of books, as well as unusual gifts and greeting cards. It also has 6 book clubs for the community to involve themselves in. Two of these are for adults, Booka Book Club (which meets on Wednesdays) and Book & a Beer Book Club (which meets on Thursdays). Both of these are free to attend, and the bookshop is always welcoming new members. It’s a great opportunity to experience new genres and authors, and to meet some new people in the area. There are also two children’s book clubs, one for 7-9 year olds, and the other for 10-12 year olds, as well as a Teen Book Club and a First Thursday Book Club. All book club members receive 10% off whatever is the chosen book for the book club! In addition to the book clubs, their regular programme also feautures author talks and signings and themed events. The bookshop also works with schools and libraries in the local area, proving it to be a very community based indepedent bookstore. Each month, the shop also features a ‘Book of the Month’, which is always good to look out for if you are stuck for what to read!

We love that the bookshop has a cafe, which sells fair-trade coffee, refreshing organic and fruit teas, as well as homemade cakes. These cakes include lemon drizzle, sticky stem ginger, deep gooey chocolate, cappucino, and date slice (our mouths are watering already). So why not visit, and enjoy a book over a warm drink and a delicious cake?

While the delicacies of the cafe can’t be enjoyed from afar, if you are a long drive from Owestry, you can still experience some of their lovely stock through their online shop. The online shop features a hand-picked selection of great books and distinctive gifts. They have signed books, and unique gifts which are organised into sections such as ‘for her’, ‘for him’ and ‘for kids’ – you are bound to find the perfect gift! You can also sign up for their newsletter online.

As well as the award already mentioned, the bookshop also won the ‘Midlands & Wales Indepedent Bookshop of the Year’ for 2014 and 2015, ‘Indepedent Retailer of the Year’ in 2013, and in 2012 was included in The Indepedent’s 50 Best Bookshops in the country. If we haven’t convinced you of how fantastic this bookshop is, we don’t know what will!

Address: 26-28 Church St, Oswestry, SY11 2SP

Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 5:30pm, Sunday 11:00am to 4:00pm

Telephone: 01691 662244

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.bookabookshop.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bookabookshop

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bookabookshop