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.