On Saturday, to celebrate Independent Booksellers Week, three Nosy Crow authors took over the fantastic independent bookshop Mostly Books in Abingdon – working the till, hand-selling their favourite children’s books, and even serving home-made cakes! And here’s what they had to say about the day:
Fleur Hitchcock, author of Dear Scarlett
“I absolutely loved it. I’ve been a shop girl since I was 14 but never in a bookshop, and never in such a good bookshop. Nicky and Mark were fantastically tolerant and welcoming, and as a way of meeting children and their parents I don’t think it can be bettered. Talking, listening and recommending books to those children was also the best fun, and so many of the stories I wanted them to discover were in stock which illustrates what a very good bookshop it is. And of course, there were the cakes…”
Helen Peters, author of The Secret Hen House Theatre
“Spending a day in a beautiful bookshop, eating cakes and talking about books, was never going to be a chore. In fact, it was a delight. Mostly Books is a stunning shop, with a courtyard garden attached – a real joy on the sunniest weekend of the year! It was wonderful to meet Nicky and Mark and their lovely customers, many of whom were devoted regulars. We had a steady stream of children in all day, talking books and writing (some of them even brought in their own writing to discuss), interviewing us and asking for recommendations. Nicky and Mark had asked us for our own childhood favourites and it was a joy to be able to recommend those. We even wrote wraparounds for them, like real booksellers. And it was an added bonus to spend time with fellow Nosy Crow writers and to chat to Camilla and Leen, who both visited us during the afternoon. Thank you to everyone at Mostly Books and Nosy Crow who made the day possible.”
Paula Harrison, author of the Rescue Princesses and Faerie Tribes series:
“It was with some trepidation that I set off for Mostly Books in Abingdon on Saturday morning. Would the customers come flocking to the shop? Would I get the hang of working the cash till? But even before I’d unloaded my cakes, tiara templates and animal masks I already felt at home. Mostly Books is a truly great independent book shop and more than one customer that I chatted to made a point of commenting that they came in because they always had good service and a warm welcome. It was really eye-opening becoming a bookseller. One of my favourite parts was finding out about a customer (especially child customers) and making suggestions as to what they would enjoy reading next based on their tastes, hobbies and reading habits. All in all I had a fantastic day and would love to do it all again. It helped a lot having two other excellent authors with me for camaraderie. I have to be honest though, and admit I never was that good with the cash till.”
You can read Mostly Books’ own round-up of the day here. Thank you to everyone there for sportingly handing over the keys to the shop, and to Fleur, Helen and Paula for taking part!