Saturday, 27 May 2017

Books & Ink

Tempted by the offer on twitter of a free Winnie-the-Pooh book bag when you spent £5 today, I wandered down to Books & Ink for a browse through their huge selection of books. I'm very lucky to have such a great bookshop just down the road. Their stock is mostly secondhand but they do have an interesting selection of new books too. 

Books & Ink live in an old, beamed building in Banbury's White Lion Walk, home of The Wisteria to beat all Wisterias. Thousands of books are arranged over two floors - on shelves, tables and in boxes - so many wonderful books.

Vintage Children's Books

I've had a soft spot for this bookshop ever since my daughter did a week's work experience there when she was 16. She had a wonderful time and learnt lots about the book world. If you're not near enough to visit the real shop, do have a browse through their online shop. About a quarter of their stock is listed but you can phone them if you're looking for something particular. 

A Selection of Picture Books

So, what did I buy today? Here are the three books I chose, together with my new book bag.

A Bridge of Children's Books came from the 'Books About Books' section which is one of my favourites; there's always something intriguing there. This one looks very interesting. It's a translation of the original German book, written by Jella Lepman in the 1960s. She was a Jewish author of books for children who returned to Germany after the Second World War with a determination to help children indoctrinated by the Nazis through the establishment of an International Youth Library. The book is her account of how she set about achieving this. 

            "Let us begin with the children, to slowly straighten out this utterly confused 
              world. The children will show the adults the way."
                                                                                                                             Jella Lepman

It seems to me that her mission is as vital today as it was seventy years ago.

The next book, I Believe in Unicorns by Michael Morpurgo continues the theme of war and books. Tomas lives in a Europe at war and learns about the power of books and stories to change lives. It's a magical book full of hope, beautifully illustrated by Gary Blythe.

On a lighter note, the third book I chose was 101 Things for Girls to Do, first published in 1935 although my edition is from 1942 (so we're back to wartime again). It's subtitle reads 'being a review of simple crafts and household subjects'. I love this sort of book. As well the embroidery and weaving projects you'd expect, there are also sections on working with leather, metal and wood.

Paper Beads and Wood Carving

How to make your own caddy spoon

This last project appeals to me. Good caddy spoons are hard to find. What do you mean, you don't have a tea caddy? I use mine every day.

I hope you've enjoyed this little look into the delights of my local bookshop. If you're ever passing this way, do go in and say hello.

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