Favourite Literary Characters of All Time

-by Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Deciding to live a life completely flooded with books happened pretty early for me, having loved to read from the very moment I learned to do so. But it’s more than a love of reading – it’s a love for books as an art form, a love for the way that books connect us to both our past and our future, and to cultures both exactly like our own, and entirely different. Books are without a doubt the most powerful force in my life, and that’s not just because I spend all of my time (both at home and at work) surrounded by them.

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All of the books that I’ve truly, deeply loved anchor me to the different parts of my life – learning to read with fairy tales and ladybird books, growing up with Noel Streatfeild’s Ballet Shoes, getting through my teens with Harry Potter. This last week I became an auntie for the first time, and now every time in the future that I pick up Good Omens, or see it on my shelf, I’ll remember that I was reading (and absolutely loving) it when my nephew arrived.

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Darwin Featured: ‘Folk-lore in the Old Testament’

-By Diane Newland, Darwin Bookseller

Remember, you can browse our Darwin rare books room stock online too, by heading over to our Antiquarian and Rare book collection on Abe books. 


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If you are interested in ancient folk-lore then these three volumes of ‘Folk-Lore in the Old Testament‘ will keep you very happy for a long time. They contain a seemingly exhaustive set of examples from all over the world, which intriguingly echo, or relate to, stories of the Old Testament. I originally found the two volumes only, with the gilded spine titles, but on scouring the warehouse for a volume one, found a complete set, although the gilt has worn off these.

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Come and See Us This Summer!

-by Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

As we’re speeding through July, we’re getting closer and closer to the Summer holidays.

Our shop team are always excited for the Summer to arrive (though we do get a little hot and bothered!), because it means we get lots of happy young readers flooding in through our doors, looking for their next read.

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Darwin Featured: ‘Illustrations: Cruikshank’s Fairy Library’

-Written by Diane Newland. Darwin Bookseller.

Illustrations. Cruikshank’s Fairy Library.” By Cruikshank, circa 1865-85. Illustrated with etchings on steel.

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As a beautiful complement to our Darwin rare books room, which is overflowing with a wide selection of eclectic rare books, we now have an extended Vintage section in our main shop, where you can find all sorts of curious little printed beauties. As a book lover, this is like an old-fashioned sweet shop to me; full of coloured fancies, nostalgic sounding titles, and unusual wrappers. You don’t have to be a book specialist, or even a connoisseur, to appreciate these, or indeed the impressively tasty selection in the Darwin room. All you need is curiosity and a soft spot for books.

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Summer Bank Holiday Kilo Sale!

It’s happening: we are having another Kilo Sale!

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If you didn’t make it to any of our previous sales, or if this is the first you’ve heard of them or even of us, then get excited! We’re offering you the chance to browse stacks and stacks of books, all at just £2 per kilo.

If you have made it to our previous sales and you know exactly what they’re about, then this will all be old news to you, so just take this as an invitation to join us once again.

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Darwin Featured: Celebration Special

-Written by Diane Newland. Darwin Bookseller.

On Saturday, the 29th June, it was our beautiful Darwin Rare Books Room’s second anniversary, so we are now welcoming in our third year with even more beautiful antique and vintage books on display. The room is named after the great man Charles Darwin himself, because Bookbarn International’s owner, William Pryor, is actually his great, great grandson. How cool is that!

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Of course, we stock antique, rare, historical and vintage books on many different subjects, not just Charles Darwin, but we named this atmospheric room, full of gilt-spined and leather bound rarities, after the great man himself, as a mark of recognition and respect for this remarkable human being, his work and his books.

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Our Growing Vintage Book Collection

-by Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Quite wonderfully, we are always completely overrun by vintage books. Books of all shapes and sizes, of all strange subjects are always finding their way through our doors, and so we thought it only fair to get a few more of them out on display in the shop for you to enjoy.

Early this year, we spread our vintage books out into the cafe, allowing you something extra special to look at while you enjoy a tasty treat or a much needed coffee. You, our lovely customers, responded so positively to this that we thought we’d dig out a few more to fill our shelves with, and last week we took down our overwhelming wall of unsorted books to make way for a new area. The Vintage wall, as we’re now calling it, is now stuffed full of beautiful books, and there are plenty more where they came from.

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All of the books are just £4 each, and you’ll find vintage penguins and pelicans,

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A huge selection of ladybirds,

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And plenty of other quirky titles waiting for you.

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So, if you’re not living it up at Glastonbury this weekend, why not pay us a visit and have a browse of our new area? Feel free to let our team know what you think, and share with us your finds.


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Did You Know?

Think of this as a Frequently Asked Questions post, of sorts. We try our best to communicate all of the services that we provide and all of the different things that you can do upon visiting us, but naturally some things get missed.

So, we’ve put together this post, similar to this list of 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Bookbarn, to give you the low-down on what you can do and what you can find when you visit.

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Darwin Featured: ‘Fun in Theatre Land’

-Written by Diane Newland. Darwin Bookseller


We all need a bit of creativity and inspiration in our lives, but many of us don’t know how to kick start this. Collecting cuttings of images or quotes that inspire in some way, is a great way to begin the process of generating ideas.

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Fun in Theatre Land is a unique example of this. It is wonderful and surprising personal scrapbook of cartoons compiled by W.B.Morris, containing examples from the late nineteenth century to the present day by H.M.Bateman, Nicholas Bentley, Giles Frank Reynolds, Heath Robinson, E.H.Shepard, Arthur Watts, and others. It is cloth bound with a red Morocco label on the front cover and spine, and is a massive personal collection, lovingly put together in this buckram bound album.

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“I could use the juggler.”

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Celebrate Independent Bookshop Week With An Indie Bookshop Crawl!

Tomorrow begins this year’s Independent Bookshop Week. Easily the most important week of the year. The aim of IBW is to remind us all; readers, book lovers and booksellers’ alike, of the importance of indie bookshops.

So, what better way to show your love and support of these bookshops than to have a go at a bookshop crawl!

We’ve put together this fun little list of local must-visit bookshops for you to visit, either all in one day, or like your very own bookshop bucket list.

These bookshops are all within close distance to us at Bookbarn, so you can either start with us, finish with us or stop with us in the middle for lunch!

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