My local town Kirkby Lonsdale is without a doubt a fabulous place to live. It is home to a thriving community, excellent eateries, beautiful scenery and a small but perfectly formed high street, filled with unique and independent shops.
Just over a year ago Kirkby welcomed new addition, a fantastic book shop The Book Lounge. And #BookShopDay seems the perfect time to tell you all about it.
The Book Lounge was established by Valerie Laycock after she took voluntary redundancy from her job as a school librarian at a school in Lancaster.
Starting by selling second hand books, which arrived by the pallet load, each box a book-filled surprise, the shop has steadily grown over the past year of opening.
Valerie now stocks a small range of new books, many written by local authors, including authors from Casterton, Kirkby Lonsdale, Blackpool and Lancaster. There is also an impressive range of book related gifts, (I may have indulged!)…
…as well as a beautiful and impressive selection of Valerie’s own book related crafts and greetings cards, sold under the brand name Valerie Ann Crafts. I can’t wait to take delivery of my handmade Bookish Advent Calendar!!
Valerie’s passion for reading and her enthusiasm for spreading a love of books to younger generations shines through as we sit and chat. Above our heads is a very impressive collection of signed books that Valerie has collected after hosting many author events.
In her previous role Valerie was never happier than when she managed to set a young person off on their reading journey and foster a life long love of learning. She is very clear that the process of sharing books is a two way street. She recalls how pupils harangued her for months to read the Twilight Books, before she finally relented and found herself hooked.
One of Valerie’s obvious frustrations is how hard it is to get her hands on second hand young adult fiction; a genre very close to her heart. Providing a good quality reading experience for her younger customers is extremely important to Valerie and was a key driver in her stocking new fiction.
Her work to inspire and foster a love of reading continues in her new role. She is currently engaged in a series of local book school visits, working alongside local author Danny Rurlander. Danny’s recently published debut novel Spylark is the story of Tom, a boy recovering from a accident who uses his drone to escape his reality. But when the drone uncovers something sinister the adventure begins. Danny’s own website www.dannyrurlander.com provides more information on the places within the novel. Set in the Lake District it is truly a way of bringing books to life.
Everything about Valerie’s beautiful shop oozes a true love of reading. From the cozy seating areas, welcoming fire, to the funky counter made entirely of books which took Valerie 3 days to create!
And don’t miss the ‘ Book Stairs’, each a personal favourite of either Valerie or one of the many English Teachers she has worked with over the years.
The Book Lounge might be a new addition to the town but it is very important, and there are exciting plans afoot. As part of the town’s annual Christmas Market Weekend The Book Lounge intends to embrace the magical theme. They will be decorating the shop and it’s alley within the theme of Harry Potter and welcoming a magician to the shop.
So if you find yourself in our neck of the woods, make sure you find time for a bit of book love in the Book Lounge, where you will find a warm welcome and some cracking Coffee and Cake!
P.S You can find The Book Lounge on Twitter @The_Book_Lounge