Sunday, May 20, 2007

Little Fleece Bookshop, Painswick


During my stay near Painswick I visited the Little Fleece Bookshop owned by the National Trust. I have to admit that this bookshop was one of my reasons for staying in the area and it certainly lived up to my expectations. Unlike other National Trust properties there is no entry charge, well it is a shop. And there are no leaflets on the NT either. It is an excellent secondhand and antiquarian bookshop in a 17th century building, which has been very well restored. It took a bit of finding and we spent some time walking round Painswick looking for it and when we did it was closed. It's only open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, so fortunately we were able to return on Thursday. As you can see the entrance is through a small doorway leading into a narrow passageway, which is lined with bookshelves . A bell rings as you enter and soft music is playing in the background. The main area of the shop is a wonderful conglomeration of books, in bookcases, on tables and piled up on the floor, just begging to be picked up and read.

I was spoilt for choice, with plenty of books on the Cotswolds and on Gloucestershire as well as on art, architecture and the usual mix of fiction and non-fiction. There was also an interesting pile of old maps which caught my eye. I spent quite some time wandering round the books whilst I made up my mind what to buy. This was really difficult as there so many that appealed. I was looking for Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie, about his childhood in Slad, not far from Painswick. However, the Little Fleece did not have a copy. In the end I bought a biography of Virginia Woolf by Lyndall Gordon. I hadn't read any of Virginia Woolf's books until I read Mrs Dalloway when I was doing an Open University course on Literature in the Modern World. I don't know much about her life, although I recently read a fictionalised biography, But Nobody Lives in Bloomsbury by Gillian Freeman, so I'm looking forward to reading this. I think that this is the biography Susan Hill referred to a while ago, and it has a different slant on her life.

9 comments:

Nan said...

Beautiful, beautiful. The perfect bookstore.
I found you via a comment on Books and Cooks. I'm enjoying your blog immensely.

BooksPlease said...

Nan, I'm glad you like my blog. I'll be putting on more photos of Painswick soon - it really is a beautiful place. Your blog is really good, such great photos - I'll try the rhubarb crisp soon.

Tara said...

What an utterly charming bookshop! We simply do not have places like that here. I am enjoying your blog so much. Thank you for sharing.

Ann said...

Found you!

You sound as if, like me, you plan your holidays round the important things in life - namely bookshops and tearooms. I've been known to spend more in books and cream teas than the cottage cost to hire in the first place. Avoid holidaying in Hay-on-Wye; your bank manager may never speak to you again!

emasl said...

oh this book shop looks lovely. I have just found you via Patternings and I note from your list of books read this year that we have a lot of mutual reads. I will visit again. Elaine

Marie said...

What a beautiful bookshop. The sort of place where you could spend hours browsing and curl up in a corner with a good book.

I look forward to seeing more photos.

Marie

danielle said...

What a lovely shop! We have no lovely buildings like that here in my town unfortunately. What was originally in the building?

BooksPlease said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. This bookshop is really quaint and as you all say, it is charming.
Ann, I do like to combine a holiday with the important things in life, I seem to find bookshops and libraries wherever I go - it helps if you look for them of course. I have been to Hay-on-Wye and was horrified about the prices.
Danielle, the bookshop was formerly part of a 17th century inn

BooksPlease said...

PS Hay-on-Wye is amazing - so many bookshops, and yes, I could have spent a fortune! Some of them were so expensive though.