Time For A Kilo Sale!

The news you’ve all been waiting for (we’re sure)… We are having another Kilo Sale! 

Those of you who came along to one of last year’s sales will know the drill, but for all those who are new to the concept, here’s a little explanation.

2019-03-13 12_16_44-Bookbarn (@bookbarnbbi) • Instagram photos and videos

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Darwin Featured: ‘Scholar-Gipsies’

Time for our next Darwin Featured book from our lovely bookseller, Diane. Enjoy!

The Scholar Gypsies by the Victorian Scottish author John Buchan is a collection of sixteen atmospheric essays and short stories relating to the Victorian countryside, and published in 1896.

All the stories are set in and around Tweeddale, in the Scottish borders, and celebrate Matthew Arnold’s concept of the Scholar-Gipsy, a semi-mythical figure from British folkway. They extol the virtues and joys of a scholarly life lived in, and closely connected to, nature and include minutely observed details of plants and flowers, evocative descriptions of Victorian country life and the country landscape,and the beauty of the shifting and changeable weather.


Every time I enter The Darwin Rare Books Room at Bookbarn International, spines covered in decorative gilt filigree greet me with the beauty of their designs and the burnished glow of gold.

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Paddington, Darth Vader and Matilda Walk Into A Bookshop

-by Emma Bilsborough, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Though I realise this post sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, it is actually just a nice reminiscence of all of the bookish celebrations that have taken place at Bookbarn this week, in honour of World Book Day.


(all of these abandoned pairs of wellies can only be evidence of something special happening)

There are many things that we feel quite strongly about here at Bookbarn (tea shouldn’t be reheated in a microwave, it’s alright for books to look well loved, etc), but none more than the fact that all Children should be given the opportunity to find a love for reading. Whether it be comic books, stories or something else all together – it’s so important that we are working hard to encourage children and young people to dive into books and writing, to develop their imagination and broaden their horizon.

With that all in mind, we felt we couldn’t possibly pass up the chance to celebrate World Book Day in style here at Bookbarn, and got to work on planning a week long celebration, culminating in a Creative Storytelling session on Thursday afternoon.

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Celebrating Ladies in Literature

Happy International Women’s Day to each and every one of you.

It is important, today and everyday, for all genders to embrace our differences, and help to hold one another up. Today, we focus on the women in our lives and throughout history who deserve admiration.

With that in mind, I thought it’d be an excellent idea to celebrate some of the best female characters that we’ve been admiring and loving through literature for years.

So, what follows is a list of my personal favourite ladies in literature. I’d love for you to share yours with me too.

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Darwin Featured: International Women’s Day Special

-written by Diane Newland, Bookseller.

It is International Women’s Day this Friday, 8th March, so with this week’s Darwin post I really want to honour and celebrate women writers, by taking a brief look at a few significant writers from previous centuries.

Looking through the shelves here in our eclectic and beautiful Darwin Rare Books Room, there is an inspirational amount of women authors from which to choose.

Women have been writing throughout history, expressing their thoughts, views and opinions, and in doing so, shaking up the status quo, and setting cultural and historical changes in motion.


From the earliest known female writer, Sappho, the Greek poet from the 6th century BC, a champion and role model for feminists and lesbians, (who featured in our Valentine’s Poetry selection) through to the 18th century early feminist women’s voices, to the myriad of powerful 20th century contemporary women authors, I found myself surrounded by a force field of female expression.

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Darwin Featured: ‘The Story of Somersetshire’

-By Diane Newland, Darwin Bookseller

The Darwin Rare Books Room, our wonderfully atmospheric room within the Bookbarn, is located in the ancient county of Somerset. So when I spied this green cloth-bound book with its gilt embossed cover, entitled “The Story of Somersetshire” it seemed fitting to give it some attention.


This little jewel of a book is highly illustrated with over ninety illustrations, and it’s aim is to illustrate the close connection the county of Somerset has, with “nearly every leading event in the history of the kingdom..”

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Our Visit From Swallow Charity


You will likely have heard us mention Swallow Charity before, as one of our wonderful, hardworking members of staff, Chris, came to us through Swallow, and we are pleased to be a small part of what they do.

Swallow Charity is a local charity, started by people with learning difficulties and their families, to develop a new way of meeting their needs.

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Darwin Featured: ‘Italian Gothic Paintings’

This week’s Darwin Featured book is truly incredible, we’re all having to keep our hands off of it. We’ll hand you over to Diane to tell you all about it…

In our Darwin Rare Books room, we not only stock rare and antique books, but we also have a selection of beautiful contemporary Art books.

I am always on the look-out for art and architecture books that pack a real punch, in terms of subject and image, that we can feature in our Darwin room. So when I saw this behemoth of a book, all gold and gleaming in our new book sorting area, I was completely knocked out by its beauty.


Published by Scala in 2011, “Italian Gothic Painting” by Marco Gasparini is a sumptuous book that outlines a rich period of Italian art history from the thirteenth to fifteenth century. The art expresses a medieval spirituality through commemorative paintings and frescoes for churches and monasteries, and this book showcases the new iconography of Gothic art, which celebrated the humanity of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, portraying scenes from their lives with unflinching realism in approach to the body, the setting and the everyday details.

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LGBT History Month: Your Must Reads

February each year marks the celebration and remembrance of LGBT rights and civil rights movements, and the importance of support for the community.

Reading is the best and most effective way to understand the world, and to see things from a different perspective. Reading LGBT books broadens our understanding of the struggles of LGBT youth and adults, and makes us more empathetic and supportive.

So, we’ve put together a list of our favourite LGBT books of all time.

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