Bookbarn’s Festive Winter Fayre

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You may have spotted in our recent social media posts that we have announced this year’s Winter Fayre date!

We’re very excited, as always, to see our cafe filled to the brim with local craftspeople and small businesses doing their thing, selling their lovely products.

Over the last few years, we’ve had so many wonderful businesses join us for the fayre, and we’re hoping for the same again this year!

We will begin taking bookings in this coming week, so please do get in touch with our customer care team to register your interest if you would like a stall this year.

In the meantime, here’s some general information:

The Winter Fayre 2019 will be taking place on Saturday the 23rd of November. We have chosen a Saturday this year in order to run the fayre for a longer time period. The fayre will run from 12pm to 9pm. As previous years, we will host a selection of craftspeople and local businesses, all of whom will be showcasing their wares for our visitors. The shop and Darwin room will be open as usual for book browsing, and the Full Stop Cafe will be serving a menu of takeaway festive food and drink.

We will be sharing the Winter Fayre on our social media in the next week – so keep your eyes peeled!

Here are our contact details:

@: bookbarn@bookbarninternational.com

#: 01761451777

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Favourite Shakespeare Plays Ranked

-by Emma Bilsborough


The end of Summer means the slide into Autumn and Winter, the very best seasons for reading. It also means the beginning of a new school year, during which many students across the UK will study one or more of Shakespeare’s plays. Though sometimes the English Literature curriculum can take all of the magic and mayhem out of the Bard’s brilliant works as you rip them to shreds for essay content, it also introduces Children and young people to his talents. It was at school that I first read the Tempest and Midsummer Night’s Dream, two of my absolute favourite Shakespeare plays.

Shakespeare has given us many a turn of phrase, and has helped us to build the language that we use today. His beautiful words have inspired generations of writers, actors, artists and creative types.

As readers of our blog may already be aware, we have a particular penchant for list making. It’s far too much fun to list our favourites, whether it be characters, authors, genres; we never run out of things to wax lyrical about in the world of literature.

You’ve probably figured out what this is all leading to, but I’ll say it anyway; here comes my list of my top ten favourite Shakespeare plays, which coincidentally are also the only ones I’ve read. Perhaps I ought to add a few to my Autumn reading list.

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New Arrivals!

Every single day we’re overloaded with new books to fill our shelves, whether they be brand new or hundreds of years old, there’s always a lot to choose from.

Today we’re getting the whole team together for a session of sorting, tidying and refilling the shelves, and with books on the brain (as always) we thought we’d share some of our new arrivals to the Shop and Darwin room.

Here’s what you might find if you pay us a visit soon…

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Back to School Reads

-by Emma Bilsborough


The wonderful days of Summer are coming to an end, and if you are anything like us, you’ll have spent most of them reading. Reading by the pool, reading at the seaside, reading on your sunny lunch break if you haven’t managed to get away to somewhere exotic (again, like us).

As we move into September, we say goodbye to the freedom of the Summer holidays, and hello to chillier weather and darker days, and for many of us, it’s back to studying. Some of us love to study, find comfort in learning new things and enjoy broadening our minds, some of us do not. It can sometimes be a little monotonous and restrictive sitting in a classroom day after day, but have no fear, we’ve got the solution. Shocker: it’s reading lots of books.

At the beginning of Summer, we put together a (not so) little recommended reading list, and we thought it only right to put together another as we move into the next season.

These reads should keep your imagination busy when you’re sitting in your maths lesson desperate for something to think about.

Check our online database to purchase any of the books on this list, and if you can’t find them there, get in touch at 01761451777 or bookbarn@bookbarninternational.com and we can order them in for you.

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Darwin Featured: Celtic Illuminative Art

-By Diane Newland, Darwin and Vintage Bookseller


Celtic Illuminative Art in the Gospel Books of Durrow, Lindisfarne, and Kells.

By the Rev. Standford F H Robinson, M.A

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The terms glorious and awesome (in its original, true sense of the word) spring from my lips in relation to this handsome, green, leatherbound book with its beautifully gilded design. Not merely due to its surface beauty but the page after page of remarkable illustrations from these three ancient, gospel books, as well as the historical content of the text, which is fascinating from an artistic perspective, as it details the different origins of their design influences.

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The Kilo Sale Weekend is Finally Here!

-By Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

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The last of 2019’s Book Kilo Sales takes place this weekend, on Sunday the 25th and Monday the 26th of August. Between 11am and 5pm on the Bank Holiday Sunday and Monday, we’ll be opening up our vast warehouse to allow you to browse some of the stock that doesn’t reach the shop shelves. We sell internationally, which means we’re constantly refilling our warehouse shelves with books of all shapes and sizes, and we want to give you a chance to buy some of these at the reduced price of just £2 per kilo.

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Darwin Featured: ‘Costumes des Femmes Françaises’

Our Book Kilo Sale is this weekend!

Don’t miss it. Event details here.


Written by Diane Newland, Darwin and Vintage Bookseller

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This faded beauty of a book is a Historical Costume Designer’s dream. It has taken a bit of a battering being an ex-library book, but like the achingly elegant women between its pages, this is still an exceedingly beautiful book. It is bound in cloth and quarter leather and written in French, although the majority of the book is taken over by sixty-nine plates of hand-coloured illustrations depicting a parade of regal beauties, clothed in the finest silks and toiles. There should be seventy plates, but Anne de Boulen has unfortunately gone AWOL. Or, as the Parisians would say, “Mon Dieu, elle est partie sans permission!“. The plates are printed in intaglio by Wittmann and hand-coloured by Nevret. Preceding each illustrated plate is a finer paper on which is outlined a brief history surrounding the lives of each of the women.

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A Message From the BBI Team

Don’t panic! We’re not going anywhere, we’d just like to share with you some of what we’ve been up to and what we’re moving towards in the future.

We know change can be overwhelming and a bit worrying, and our bookshop has been going through a lot of changes this year. We want to make sure that our wonderful customers, both online and in store, know that despite these changes we are still the same Bookbarn that you have known and loved for so long.

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Darwin Featured: The Great Novels, Graham Greene

We are 11 days away from our Book Kilo Sale! Find out more here: Summer Bank Holiday Kilo Sale


Written by Diane Newland, Darwin Bookseller

Here, at Bookbarn International, we do everything under one roof. From arrival to departure, each book gets pre-sorted, checked and catalogued, a bit like going through customs, and is then located in our giant warehouse – our equivalent of a departure lounge for books – until it is ordered to wing it’s way to you, wherever you are in the world.

If our cataloguers see something rather special, the book equivalent of a celebrity, whether famous or infamous, they bring it up to the Darwin Rare Books Room. Our first class departure lounge for books.

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Continue reading “Darwin Featured: The Great Novels, Graham Greene”