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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Darwin Featured: Folio Society and Easton Press, A Collector’s Special

We are 18 days away from our Book Kilo Sale! Find out more here: Summer Bank Holiday Kilo Sale

-Written by Diane Newland, Darwin Bookseller.


(From Homer’s Odyssey, Published by Folio Society)

One of the great pleasures of working in the Darwin room, is its slightly other-wordly atmosphere which imbues a state of altered reality to all whom enter (with absolutely no mind-altering substances needed).

Another pleasure, because it is a smaller, more intimate setting than the main shop, is that it affords the opportunity to meet and chat to so many of you. It is incredibly heartening to realise what a huge variety of people enjoy, and indeed purchase, these wonderful old books and fine print editions.

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Bookbarn Staff Picks

We are 23 days away from our Book Kilo Sale! Find out more here: Summer Bank Holiday Kilo Sale

By Emma Bilsborough, Sales and Marketing Coordinator

As a team full of book lovers, we’re constantly recommending books to one another and to our customers. There’s nothing better than sharing your favourite titles with a friend, obsessing over plot and characters and getting them to fall in love with the book too. This is one of the absolute best things about a genuine, book loving community, you can discover new writers and stories from the people around you.


As we were doing it informally anyway, sharing stories with colleagues and customers alike, we decided to make a staff picks area in our shop, where all members of our team can share with our visitors some of their favourite titles, in the hopes that someone else will pick one up and love it as much as we have. The added benefit, with our books, is that they’re secondhand and so there’s already so much love amongst their pages. Creased spines and well-thumbed pages, filled with someone else’s experiences of reading the story, but with enough room for you to add your own.

We try to refresh the titles as often as we can, (which isn’t too hard, we’re always reading!), but here’s a few of our current picks for you. Please do share with us your favourite titles – we love the recommendations to go both ways.

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Darwin Featured: ‘A History of the Earth and Animated Nature’

We are 25 days away from our Book Kilo Sale! Find out more here: Summer Bank Holiday Kilo Sale

A History of the Earth and Animated Nature Volume One” By Oliver Goldsmith, and published by A Fullarton and Co.

-Written by Diane Newland. Darwin Bookseller.

2019-07-30 09_41_07-“A History of the Earth and Animated Nature. Darwin Blog - Google Docs

With the rich and heady folk lore of my last two Darwin book posts still inhabiting the chambers of my brain, “A History of the Earth and Animated Nature” seamlessly continues to delight me with its references to past ancient beliefs. For example, “the newly formed earth was covered with a green down, like that on young birds; and, soon afterwards, men, like mushrooms, rose from the ground.” Just imagine that. 

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A Classic Lit Bucket List

We are 1 month away from our Book Kilo Sale! Find out more here: Summer Bank Holiday Kilo Sale

by Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

One of my favourite activities is rearranging my bookshelves at home. I do it quite regularly, to my partner’s frustration, and find new ways to organise my little collection. I’ve got a lot of Children’s books, so they generally end up using two units of shelving just by themselves, and the same with my fiction. This time, I decided to get all of my classic literature together in pride of place on the top shelves. I found that despite having loved literature for such a long time, studied it and worked with it, I am rather short on the classics. I thought the best thing to do would be to create a list of classic authors that I not only need more of on my shelves, but also that I need to read at all.

I figure it best to share the authors I’ve yet to read much of with you, and see whether you can suggest a few extras to add, or help me to decide which titles to start with. I don’t mind a long reading list, I’m permanently behind on my reading due to always buying new books (thanks, bookbarn), so have at it with your recommendations.

Here’s what I’ve got so far.

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Darwin Featured: ‘Medieval Lore’

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. 

by Diane Newland, Darwin Bookseller

Medieval Lore: An Epitome of the Science, Geography, Animal and Plant Folk-Lore and Myth of the Middle Age. Edited by Robert Steele, and Published by Elliot Stock in 1893.


Last week, while writing about Folk-lore in the Old Testament’, I dived deep into our massive warehouse, looking for other books on folk-lore, or folk-tales. One of the books I found was this one on medieval lore, which I thought so interesting I saved it for this week’s Darwin featured book.

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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.


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. 


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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