Autumn/Winter newsletter

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North Somerset Times


2 Comments

Join Our Window Dressing Team

Why not get the paint and glue flying and give it a whirl? All very welcome. No special experience or ability needed. 


We make things at home from recycled books, card, newspaper, wool, pencil, ink, paint - whatever is at hand - and meet monthly to change the display.

If you'd like to know more please contact sarahseesaw@yahoo.com
1 Comments

Clevedon's Starring Role (With a Cameo From Our Bookshop)

Clevedon Community Bookshop featured in Somerset Life magazine's recent article on how Broadchurch -- which is filmed locally -- has created a definite buzz around Clevedon since it first hit our TV screens in 2013. Our crime-themed window display, inspired by the hit show, gets a mention, as does our very own Chloe.

 

You can read the full article by clicking on the images below:

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Volunteer Stories: The Out-Of-Town Donor

By Karyn Boniface, Bookseller


“Where do you get all your books from?” is a question that customers ask us booksellers a lot. The answer – “Donations from our wonderful, generous, book-loving customers” – is one that, back in the days when our bookshop was just an idea, we never dreamed of giving. And rather than drying up over time, donations are starting to arrive from even further afield.


Just the other day a lady called the shop to ask what our Monday opening hours were. So far, so normal. “10am until 4pm, every day of the week”, was my reply. Her response was lovely, surprising, and more than a little humbling. She had stumbled upon our shop while on holiday, and on returning home decided that she wanted to help. So, despite living in a far-off county, she was going out of her way en route to a meeting to donate some books to us.


Thank you. To both our anonymous out-of-town donor, and to all of the many other people whose donations keep us stocked with books of such fantastic quality. Your generosity helps to keep our shop running, and getting to chat with you all plays a big part in making the role of volunteer bookseller such a great experience.

Look out for more guest blog posts from our marvelous volunteers. For information about volunteer opportunities at Clevedon Community Bookshop, click here.

0 Comments

Plea For Children's Picture Books: A Big Thank You!

In November last year, we sent out a plea for donations of good quality children's picture books. The response has been fantastic. Here is a message of thanks to everyone who donated from volunteer Jane Kelly:


Thank you so much to all those people who donated children’s picture books in response to my appeal.


We had a marvellous response with some really high quality books received. Many parents have come in with young children and left the shop delighted with their finds.


Any more that are no longer wanted will be gratefully received.


Thanks,


Jane

0 Comments

CO-OPERATIVE FAIRY TALE: Once Upon a Time in Clevedon Community Bookshop...

We invited guests at our 3rd birthday party to contribute a line or two to a community story starring our very own bookshop. The result was this brilliant tale featuring our Angela Everitt, a naughtly Christmas elf and an amphibious leopard. Thank you to everybody who contributed!

A very naughty Christmas Elf
A very naughty Christmas Elf

Once upon a time in Clevedon Community Bookshop there was a very special party to celebrate their birthday. There were cakes and music and lots of people came: children, parents and older folk – all of them loved books and were having a lovely time until a dark shape filled the doorway.

Lo and behold it was the naughty Christmas Elf!

Suddenly it began to snow and huge flakes drifted into the house, and Angela got swept away on one!

 

But as luck would have it, Santa just happened to be flying past on his magic sled, pulled by eight prancing reindeer. He caught Angela, and carried her away to the Royal Oak. “Oh Santa!” said Angela. “Thank you so much! Can I get you a drink?”

 

“Yes please!” said Santa. “I’ll have a pint of bitter.”

 

But just as they were about to raise their drinks to their lips, suddenly they heard the sound of very LOUD drumming – it was those North Somerset Samba drummers disturbing the peace! People in the nearby café, having a nice quiet morning coffee, jumped in their seats. Cars stopped, seagulls looked on bemused, and passers-by began to dance to the beat. Quiet Clevedon became non-quiet Clevedon.

 

At the end of the drummers’ performance one of them glanced out into the Bristol Channel. What was that out there? It sure was big …

 

Suddenly a LEOPARD that had escaped from Bristol Zoo came towards them!!! (You see, this was the rare kind of giant, amphibious leopard that is native to Clevedonian waters.)

 

The leopard was a bit cross, because he had just wanted to go to the birthday party. He was a great lover of books – The Tiger Who Came to Tea was a particular favourite. Anyway, he shook off the chilly water and went inside for a cup of tea and some Smarties birthday cake. After eating all the birthday cake the leopard lay down behind the bookshelves for a sleep …

 

The booksellers didn’t notice him and locked up. But then he started snoring so loudly that everyone in the Royal Oak got scared and ran away. Bravely, with trembling fingers, Angela started to open the bookshop door …

 

And the first thing she saw was Eric the hungry caterpillar, who was SO fat after eating all the cupcakes, and he was hunting for one green leaf to round off his meal. Then suddenly the leopard came out from behind the shelves. Angela cried out! But then the leopard stood up on his hind paws (which were also webbed, this being an amphibious leopard), and introduced himself very politely. Angela wasn’t afraid any more …

 

She felt that she would go in search of some Clevedon Rock as she was so near to the sea – sure enough there was the shore, but the rocks were inedible. However she spotted Clevedon Pier. “Aha!” she said. “There may be rock that I can eat …”

 

So Angela bought some colourful rock and took it back to the bookshop, where she shared it with the book-loving leopard, who decided to become a volunteer. And the naughty Christmas Elf was never seen or heard of again.

 

THE END

Our 3rd Birthday Party!

On Wednesday 31st December, we threw open the bookshop doors for a very special celebrationour 3rd birthday! A huge amount of fun was had by all, with volunteers, shareholders and local supporters helping to make it a wonderful afternoon of food, drink, games, competitions and live music.

 

North Somerset School of Samba (pictured below) kicked off the party with a musical performance on the seafront, their Brazilian beats bringing some much-needed festive warmth to Clevedon's chilly seafront (and not just by getting people dancing in the street.)

Local musicians, including Jerry Turner (below left) and Steve Price (right), provided the musical entertainment within the more cosy surrounds of the bookshop.

The standard of entries to our Great Bookshop Bake-Off competition – in which people were invited to bake book-themed cakes – was incredibly high and produced some inspired edible creations. Bette and Jim Baldwin from Nailsea (below) won the adult category with their Alice in Wonderland-inspired cakes saying “Eat me” and “Drink me”. The children’s prize was awarded to Milly, aged 8, whose cake featured the sailing boats from Swallows and Amazons.

The Bookshop Co-operative Fairy Tale – which saw party guests of all ages contribute paragraphs to a collaborative story – resulted in a surreal twister of a tale starring our very own Angela Everitt and an amphibious leopard (of course!). You can read the finished story in its entirety here.

In fact, the story was such a success that we're considering making community story writing a regularly activity at the bookshop – so stay tuned for more on that!

 

A MASSIVE thank you to the organisers and shop dressers; the cake bakers and story writers; the talented local singers and musicians; the volunteers, shareholders and supporters; and everyone else who helped us celebrate our 3rd birthday with a party to remember.

 

Wishing you all a happy new year from Clevedon Community Bookshop. Here's to exciting new literary adventures in 2015!

 

More party photos, including those marvellous Bake-Off entries, below:

Come Join Us At Clevedon School's Christmas Fair!

For the third year running, the Bookshop Co-operative will be joining in the festivities at Clevedon School's Christmas Fair, the Christmas Extravaganza, on Saturday 13 December.


Between 11.00am and 4.00pm, we will be running a stall selling quality second hand books and a selection of other items, including book tokens (what better Christmas gift for the discerning book lover(s) in your life?).

Clevedon School Christmas Fair 2014

Other festive delights at the Extravaganza include donkey reindeer rides, a children's craft area and, of course, Santa's Grotto (described as the “Best in the South West” last year). We've also received word that two famous snow queens and their special friend will be making a guest appearance. Intrigued? We are!


All in all, it promises to be a truly magical day for all the family and we hope to see you there!

Plea For Children's Picture Books!

It's rare that we make a plea for donations as in most areas we have plentiful stock owing to the generosity of so many donors. The current exception to this is quality children’s picture books.

 

We would love to be able to replenish our Kids Corner with some classic picture books, however many of the lovely books we get in are too worn through repeated reading.

 

So if you have any Gruffalos or Tiger’s Who Came to Tea lurking in your house that need a new home, please consider gifting them to the bookshop. Such donations will be greatly appreciated, especially by our younger customers!

 

Spooky Halloween Reads For All Ages

We’ve searched the darkest recesses of the bookshop to find a selection of spooky books to get readers of all ages in the spirit (pun intended) this All Hallows’ Eve.

 

 

Chilling Children’s Poems

 

Is There Anything There at the Top of the Stair? Poems About Being Scared – Brian Moses

Poems for little ones that explore what it means to be afraid, and offer inspired ways to banish those monsters under the bed.

 

Seriously Scary Poems – edited by John Foster

An illustrated collection of seriously scary rhymes with such ghastly titles as Blood and Bones, The Frightening Phantom and The Fiend Fair of Horror.

 

 

Frightful Young Adult Fiction

 

The Midnight Hand – Paul Stewart

If ever there was a book designed specifically to get you quaking under the covers, this has to be it. From the jacket: ”For at midnight, when the bronze bell tolls, Tom feels something stroking his cheek, something cold and dry...a skeletal hand!” Terrifying!

 

The Frighteners – Pete Johnson

This creepy thriller from the best-selling author of The Ghost Dog finds schoolgirl Chloe pursued by diabolical drawings come to life. Johnson’s books have been dubbed Stephen King for kids and with opening lines like “In the middle of the night they came for me…”, we can see why!

 

 

Creepy Classics

 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Originally published as a 'shilling shocker', this dark psychological fantasy introduced the idea of the demonic alternate personality, a device that has been much imitated but never bettered.

 

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

This supernatural classic charts the sinister transformation of two innocent children through the eyes of an impressionable governess. A masterclass in unnerving suspense and quiet horror.

 

Dracula – Bram Stoker

The sordid story of the ultimate predator, Count Dracula – AKA Nosferatu, the Un-Dead – as told by young lawyer Jonathan Harker who finds himself imprisoned in the evil vampire’s Transylvanian castle.

 

 

Spine-tingling True Tales

 

Conversations with a Witch – Lois Bourne

Witches get a bad rap around Halloween what with their bubbling cauldrons and evil spells. Here, a real-life witch’s personal reflections on clairvoyance, precognition and invisibility offer a timely alternative to the popular image of the cackling old crone.

 

Ghosts of the Lake Counties / Lakeland Ghosts – Gerald Finder

This book pretty much has it covered when it comes to ghostly entities. It promises to convey the “full legendary horror” of “boggles, white ladies, headless ghosts, skulking skulls, spectral hounds, ghosts on horseback, white rabbits and phantom ships.”

 

The Witchcraft Papers – collected and edited by Peter Haining

They may not have captured the public imagination quite like the Salam witch trials, but the witch persecutions that took place in Scotland from 1560 were far more numerous. Haining tells their harrowing story using contemporary documents and reports.

 

 

Happy Halloween! Here’s A Zombie Video Starring Our Bookshop...

Last year, the bookshop served as location for a promotional film for a Zombie Survival Manual and, with Halloween looming, what better time to dust off the cobwebs from our on-screen debut?

 

Check out the clip below – you'll be glad you did when the zombie apocalypse comes...

A Bigger Store For An Expanding Bookshop! (Photos)

Clevedon Community Bookshop has leased an industrial unit on the Tweed Road Estate to house its book stock and its internet shop – and this past Saturday (18th September) was moving day!

 

With over 650 boxes containing some 15,000 books to shift from the existing stores on Woodland Road and behind Stafford Garage, this was no small feat. However, thanks to the hard work of a team of dedicated volunteers, the whole operation was completed in just a single day and with minimal disruption to normal shop operations.

 

Angela Everitt, a founder member of the Bookshop Co-operative,

notes that the move was a real exercise in co-operative teamwork: 'It was a day full of energy, good spirit and efficiency. So much so that, while we thought we would have to close the internet shop for at least a week to give us a chance to get it all in order again, throughout we remained open to book-buyers around the world.

 

'It was a really good experience of co-operative working.'

 

Peter Brooks, co-ordinator of the book stores, adds: ‘We had van drivers, sandwich-makers and everybody joined in humping boxes, members forming a box carrying chain between the store and the van.’

The last box!
The last box!

The new store will make it easier to retrieve books from stock in response to requests from customers to the Bookshop in Copse Road. Meanwhile, the Bookshop Co-operative will be able to upload more books for selling on the internet.

 

Jeff Bidwell, who co-ordinates the cataloguing of books for internet selling, explains: 'We have approximately 4000 books online now but by the beginning of November this should expand to 7000 books.

 

'Online selling complements sales from our popular Copse Road Bookshop and is important in helping to make our bookshop in Clevedon sustainable.

 

'We are now planning to have a dedicated computer in the Copse Road Bookshop for customers to browse all our stock, those in the bookshop and those in the store.'

Celebrating the end of a successful day
Celebrating the end of a successful day

This latest stage in the Bookshop's development reflects our success as a thriving second-hand bookshop, not to mention the generosity of people in Clevedon and North Somerset in their donations of books.

 

Here's to another big step foward for the Bookshop!

More photos of the big move below:

Bookshop Window Displays: Retrospective Gallery

Each month, the bookshop façade is transformed into an eclectic gallery of handcrafted exhibits by our wonderfully inventive window dressing team.

 

Their themed displays have seen the bookshop window, at various times, decked out with deckchairs, festooned with flying teapots and adorned with autumn leaves (courtesy of Mary Elton Primary School). Oh, and there was that one festive period when it was overrun by Christmas sheep!

 

You can see these and many other examples of the team’s inspired handiwork in our retrospective gallery of bookshop window displays below:

If you fancy joining the team, please get in touch with the bookshop. You don't have to be a budding Picasso, just have bags of imagination and a willingness to get stuck in with pens, paper, glue and whatever else you have to hand!

Crime Reading List: 7 Classic Crime Fiction Novels

We’ve got true life and fictional crime in our crosshairs this month -- as you may have deduced from our Broadchurch-inspired window display and the life-size chalk body outline on the floor! In keeping with this theme, we’ve tracked down some of our favourite classic crime titles…

 

The following paperbacks are part of our off-site inventory, and can be ordered in for collection from the bookshop – just phone/email us or pop by the shop.  All books in stock at time of writing!


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985) – Patrick Suskind

 

Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill...

 

A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading – Literary Review

 

A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ... a remarkable début – Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review


The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House (2008) – Kate Summerscale

 

A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

 

It is a beautiful piece, written with great lucidity and respect for the reader, and with immaculate restraint. A classic, to my mind, of the finest documentary writing – John Le Carre

 

I can't think of another book which takes you so fast into the smells, tastes and atmosphere of that time – Doris Lessing


Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow (1992) – Peter Høeg

 

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop. The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.

 

On one level, both a whodunnit and a thriller - ingeniously plotted. Extremely hard to put down. Peter Høeg's novel is already making for classic status – Independent

 

Unusual and enveloping. Extraordinarily evocative, atmospheric and poetic – Sunday Times


New York Trilogy (1985-6) – Paul Auster

 

Moving at the breathless pace of a thriller, these uniquely stylized detective novels include City of Glass in which Quinn, a mystery writer, receives an ominous phone call in the middle of the night. He’s drawn into the streets of New York, onto an elusive case that’s more puzzling and more deeply-layered than anything he might have written himself. In Ghosts, Blue, a mentee of Brown, is hired by White to spy on Black from a window on Orange Street. Once Blue starts stalking Black, he finds his subject on a similar mission. In The Locked Room, Fanshawe has disappeared, leaving behind his wife and baby and nothing but a cache of novels, plays, and poems.

 

Auster’s best-known fiction, which reads as if Samuel Beckett were undertaking to refashion one of the more snarled plots of Raymond Chandler – Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

 

Auster has perfected a limpid, confessional style, then used it to set disoriented heroes in a seemingly familiar world gradually suffused with mounting uneasiness, vague menace and possible hallucination – Michael Dirda, Washington Post


True Grit (1968) – Charles Portis

 

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down and avenge her father's murder.

 

Comparable to her literary ancestor and fellow southerner, Huckleberry Finn … a gripping story made up of insightful digressions – Observer

 

One of those rare sweet delights ... one can recommend to inveterate fiction readers and to those who read only one or two novels a year – San Francisco Chronicle


The Name of the Rose (1980) – Umberto Eco

 

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

 

The novel explodes with pyrotechnic inventions, literally as well as figuratively . . . The narrative impulse that commands the story is irresistible …Mr. Eco's delight in his narrative does not fail to touch the reader – New York Times Book Review

 

Whether you're into Sherlock Holmes, Montaillou, Borges, the nouvelle critique, the Rule of St. Benedict, metaphysics, library design, or The Thing from the Crypt, you'll love it – Sunday Times


The True History of the Kelly Gang (2000) – Peter Carey

 

In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.

 

The best measure of the novel's excellence [is] that you never doubt it's Kelly's own words you're reading in the headlong, action-packed story filled with stage-coach holdups, bank robberies and backstabbing treachery – Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

 

Carey deserves to be lionized in his native land for this triumphant historical recreation, and he will undoubtedly win a worldwide readership for a novel that teems with energy, suspense, and the true story of a memorable protagonist – Publishers Weekly


Don’t forget you can now browse our full database of books (including more crime novels you won’t find in-store) using the free Readerware app – details here.

Steve “Three Channels” Price Entertains Bookshop Crowd With Tales of Landmark Swims

 

By Chloe Headdon

 

On Sunday 21st September, as part of the Clevedon Tides Festival, the bookshop hosted a talk by Steve “Three Channels” Price, a local long-distance swimmer and the first man to cross the Bristol, English, and Irish Channels.

 

The audience, which filled the back room of the shop, was kept thoroughly entertained; there were laughs, gasps, and not a few winces as we heard how Steve battled rolling waves, freezing temperatures, close scrapes with super-tankers, and jellyfish the size of tables (yikes!) to complete his landmark swims.

 

One particular highlight was Steve’s account of his attempt to cross the Irish Sea, a gruelling venture that has defeated many other swimmers, and which he indeed only successfully completed on his fourth try.

 

The evening ended memorably with a poem by one of his support-crew (read with great aplomb by Steve), recounting the miserable days spent in a bedsit in Dover, waiting for the perfect weather conditions to attempt the English Channel crossing. In all, it was a wonderful tale, and the audience’s enjoyment was clear in the vast number of questions they had for Steve at the end!

 

We at the bookshop would like to express our thanks to Steve, and we wish him best of luck with any swimming challenges he undertakes in the future. We are also delighted to say that, through ticket-sales for this talk, we have raised approximately £80 for the charity Marlens, which maintains the marine lake where Steve regularly trains. It is a pleasure to support Clevedon’s swimmers, many of whom attended the talk on the night.

The Bookshop Cooperative’s 2014 AGM: Report

By Jenny Wildblood

 

The Bookshop Cooperative’s AGM yesterday was a great success and well-attended, though sadly the meeting wasn’t quorate. This means that the business part of the meeting had to be suspended, and a new date for a meeting next week will be announced as soon as possible.

 

We heard the financial report from the current Treasurer, Graham Hill, who took us through the accounts. These showed some blips, notably around the two floods the Bookshop has experienced over the last 18 months which disrupted sales, but the good news was that sales have now more than recovered.

 

The Chair, Jenny Wildblood, reported on what the Board has been up to over the year since the last AGM in September 2013. This was followed by reports from all areas on the Co-op's operations, including Internet Sales and the Cataloguers. The reinvigorated Courses and Events were highlighted, and we closed with encouragement to anyone interested in volunteering to come forward.

 

We closed with tea and cake and the chance to see and appreciate some examples of the work of the Bindery and the Window Dressers. Many thanks to everyone who presented, and to everyone who made tea and helped set out the room.

It's our first birthday

At the end of 2012 the Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrated its first year. This community based shop opened its doors to everyone on the 31 December 2011 and the past year has been a fascinating learning experience. 

 

The next year of 2013 is anticipated with much excitement, firm hope and aspiration that the shop will continue it to build on establishing itself as an asset to the community, along with a renewed anticipation at continuing to trade in the fascinating world of books.

 

Recent press articles are highlighted below and can be read in more detail by following the links.

BBC web site - Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrates first year

A bookshop saved from closure by a local co-operative is marking its first year as a community owned enterprise.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

This is Somerset - Clevedon Community Bookshop leads way in co-operative revival

A bookshop saved from closure after 500 people joined a local co-operative to keep it open will be marking its first year as a community-owned enterprise this weekend.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

Clevedon People - Clevedon Community Bookshop first birthday

The only second-hand bookstore in Clevedon is set to celebrate its first birthday after starting a new chapter in its life as a community owned enterprise.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

North Somerset Times


2 Comments

Join Our Window Dressing Team

Why not get the paint and glue flying and give it a whirl? All very welcome. No special experience or ability needed. 


We make things at home from recycled books, card, newspaper, wool, pencil, ink, paint - whatever is at hand - and meet monthly to change the display.

If you'd like to know more please contact sarahseesaw@yahoo.com
1 Comments

Clevedon's Starring Role (With a Cameo From Our Bookshop)

Clevedon Community Bookshop featured in Somerset Life magazine's recent article on how Broadchurch -- which is filmed locally -- has created a definite buzz around Clevedon since it first hit our TV screens in 2013. Our crime-themed window display, inspired by the hit show, gets a mention, as does our very own Chloe.

 

You can read the full article by clicking on the images below:

0 Comments

Volunteer Stories: The Out-Of-Town Donor

By Karyn Boniface, Bookseller


“Where do you get all your books from?” is a question that customers ask us booksellers a lot. The answer – “Donations from our wonderful, generous, book-loving customers” – is one that, back in the days when our bookshop was just an idea, we never dreamed of giving. And rather than drying up over time, donations are starting to arrive from even further afield.


Just the other day a lady called the shop to ask what our Monday opening hours were. So far, so normal. “10am until 4pm, every day of the week”, was my reply. Her response was lovely, surprising, and more than a little humbling. She had stumbled upon our shop while on holiday, and on returning home decided that she wanted to help. So, despite living in a far-off county, she was going out of her way en route to a meeting to donate some books to us.


Thank you. To both our anonymous out-of-town donor, and to all of the many other people whose donations keep us stocked with books of such fantastic quality. Your generosity helps to keep our shop running, and getting to chat with you all plays a big part in making the role of volunteer bookseller such a great experience.

Look out for more guest blog posts from our marvelous volunteers. For information about volunteer opportunities at Clevedon Community Bookshop, click here.

0 Comments

Plea For Children's Picture Books: A Big Thank You!

In November last year, we sent out a plea for donations of good quality children's picture books. The response has been fantastic. Here is a message of thanks to everyone who donated from volunteer Jane Kelly:


Thank you so much to all those people who donated children’s picture books in response to my appeal.


We had a marvellous response with some really high quality books received. Many parents have come in with young children and left the shop delighted with their finds.


Any more that are no longer wanted will be gratefully received.


Thanks,


Jane

0 Comments

CO-OPERATIVE FAIRY TALE: Once Upon a Time in Clevedon Community Bookshop...

We invited guests at our 3rd birthday party to contribute a line or two to a community story starring our very own bookshop. The result was this brilliant tale featuring our Angela Everitt, a naughtly Christmas elf and an amphibious leopard. Thank you to everybody who contributed!

A very naughty Christmas Elf
A very naughty Christmas Elf

Once upon a time in Clevedon Community Bookshop there was a very special party to celebrate their birthday. There were cakes and music and lots of people came: children, parents and older folk – all of them loved books and were having a lovely time until a dark shape filled the doorway.

Lo and behold it was the naughty Christmas Elf!

Suddenly it began to snow and huge flakes drifted into the house, and Angela got swept away on one!

 

But as luck would have it, Santa just happened to be flying past on his magic sled, pulled by eight prancing reindeer. He caught Angela, and carried her away to the Royal Oak. “Oh Santa!” said Angela. “Thank you so much! Can I get you a drink?”

 

“Yes please!” said Santa. “I’ll have a pint of bitter.”

 

But just as they were about to raise their drinks to their lips, suddenly they heard the sound of very LOUD drumming – it was those North Somerset Samba drummers disturbing the peace! People in the nearby café, having a nice quiet morning coffee, jumped in their seats. Cars stopped, seagulls looked on bemused, and passers-by began to dance to the beat. Quiet Clevedon became non-quiet Clevedon.

 

At the end of the drummers’ performance one of them glanced out into the Bristol Channel. What was that out there? It sure was big …

 

Suddenly a LEOPARD that had escaped from Bristol Zoo came towards them!!! (You see, this was the rare kind of giant, amphibious leopard that is native to Clevedonian waters.)

 

The leopard was a bit cross, because he had just wanted to go to the birthday party. He was a great lover of books – The Tiger Who Came to Tea was a particular favourite. Anyway, he shook off the chilly water and went inside for a cup of tea and some Smarties birthday cake. After eating all the birthday cake the leopard lay down behind the bookshelves for a sleep …

 

The booksellers didn’t notice him and locked up. But then he started snoring so loudly that everyone in the Royal Oak got scared and ran away. Bravely, with trembling fingers, Angela started to open the bookshop door …

 

And the first thing she saw was Eric the hungry caterpillar, who was SO fat after eating all the cupcakes, and he was hunting for one green leaf to round off his meal. Then suddenly the leopard came out from behind the shelves. Angela cried out! But then the leopard stood up on his hind paws (which were also webbed, this being an amphibious leopard), and introduced himself very politely. Angela wasn’t afraid any more …

 

She felt that she would go in search of some Clevedon Rock as she was so near to the sea – sure enough there was the shore, but the rocks were inedible. However she spotted Clevedon Pier. “Aha!” she said. “There may be rock that I can eat …”

 

So Angela bought some colourful rock and took it back to the bookshop, where she shared it with the book-loving leopard, who decided to become a volunteer. And the naughty Christmas Elf was never seen or heard of again.

 

THE END

Our 3rd Birthday Party!

On Wednesday 31st December, we threw open the bookshop doors for a very special celebrationour 3rd birthday! A huge amount of fun was had by all, with volunteers, shareholders and local supporters helping to make it a wonderful afternoon of food, drink, games, competitions and live music.

 

North Somerset School of Samba (pictured below) kicked off the party with a musical performance on the seafront, their Brazilian beats bringing some much-needed festive warmth to Clevedon's chilly seafront (and not just by getting people dancing in the street.)

Local musicians, including Jerry Turner (below left) and Steve Price (right), provided the musical entertainment within the more cosy surrounds of the bookshop.

The standard of entries to our Great Bookshop Bake-Off competition – in which people were invited to bake book-themed cakes – was incredibly high and produced some inspired edible creations. Bette and Jim Baldwin from Nailsea (below) won the adult category with their Alice in Wonderland-inspired cakes saying “Eat me” and “Drink me”. The children’s prize was awarded to Milly, aged 8, whose cake featured the sailing boats from Swallows and Amazons.

The Bookshop Co-operative Fairy Tale – which saw party guests of all ages contribute paragraphs to a collaborative story – resulted in a surreal twister of a tale starring our very own Angela Everitt and an amphibious leopard (of course!). You can read the finished story in its entirety here.

In fact, the story was such a success that we're considering making community story writing a regularly activity at the bookshop – so stay tuned for more on that!

 

A MASSIVE thank you to the organisers and shop dressers; the cake bakers and story writers; the talented local singers and musicians; the volunteers, shareholders and supporters; and everyone else who helped us celebrate our 3rd birthday with a party to remember.

 

Wishing you all a happy new year from Clevedon Community Bookshop. Here's to exciting new literary adventures in 2015!

 

More party photos, including those marvellous Bake-Off entries, below:

Come Join Us At Clevedon School's Christmas Fair!

For the third year running, the Bookshop Co-operative will be joining in the festivities at Clevedon School's Christmas Fair, the Christmas Extravaganza, on Saturday 13 December.


Between 11.00am and 4.00pm, we will be running a stall selling quality second hand books and a selection of other items, including book tokens (what better Christmas gift for the discerning book lover(s) in your life?).

Clevedon School Christmas Fair 2014

Other festive delights at the Extravaganza include donkey reindeer rides, a children's craft area and, of course, Santa's Grotto (described as the “Best in the South West” last year). We've also received word that two famous snow queens and their special friend will be making a guest appearance. Intrigued? We are!


All in all, it promises to be a truly magical day for all the family and we hope to see you there!

Plea For Children's Picture Books!

It's rare that we make a plea for donations as in most areas we have plentiful stock owing to the generosity of so many donors. The current exception to this is quality children’s picture books.

 

We would love to be able to replenish our Kids Corner with some classic picture books, however many of the lovely books we get in are too worn through repeated reading.

 

So if you have any Gruffalos or Tiger’s Who Came to Tea lurking in your house that need a new home, please consider gifting them to the bookshop. Such donations will be greatly appreciated, especially by our younger customers!

 

Spooky Halloween Reads For All Ages

We’ve searched the darkest recesses of the bookshop to find a selection of spooky books to get readers of all ages in the spirit (pun intended) this All Hallows’ Eve.

 

 

Chilling Children’s Poems

 

Is There Anything There at the Top of the Stair? Poems About Being Scared – Brian Moses

Poems for little ones that explore what it means to be afraid, and offer inspired ways to banish those monsters under the bed.

 

Seriously Scary Poems – edited by John Foster

An illustrated collection of seriously scary rhymes with such ghastly titles as Blood and Bones, The Frightening Phantom and The Fiend Fair of Horror.

 

 

Frightful Young Adult Fiction

 

The Midnight Hand – Paul Stewart

If ever there was a book designed specifically to get you quaking under the covers, this has to be it. From the jacket: ”For at midnight, when the bronze bell tolls, Tom feels something stroking his cheek, something cold and dry...a skeletal hand!” Terrifying!

 

The Frighteners – Pete Johnson

This creepy thriller from the best-selling author of The Ghost Dog finds schoolgirl Chloe pursued by diabolical drawings come to life. Johnson’s books have been dubbed Stephen King for kids and with opening lines like “In the middle of the night they came for me…”, we can see why!

 

 

Creepy Classics

 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Originally published as a 'shilling shocker', this dark psychological fantasy introduced the idea of the demonic alternate personality, a device that has been much imitated but never bettered.

 

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

This supernatural classic charts the sinister transformation of two innocent children through the eyes of an impressionable governess. A masterclass in unnerving suspense and quiet horror.

 

Dracula – Bram Stoker

The sordid story of the ultimate predator, Count Dracula – AKA Nosferatu, the Un-Dead – as told by young lawyer Jonathan Harker who finds himself imprisoned in the evil vampire’s Transylvanian castle.

 

 

Spine-tingling True Tales

 

Conversations with a Witch – Lois Bourne

Witches get a bad rap around Halloween what with their bubbling cauldrons and evil spells. Here, a real-life witch’s personal reflections on clairvoyance, precognition and invisibility offer a timely alternative to the popular image of the cackling old crone.

 

Ghosts of the Lake Counties / Lakeland Ghosts – Gerald Finder

This book pretty much has it covered when it comes to ghostly entities. It promises to convey the “full legendary horror” of “boggles, white ladies, headless ghosts, skulking skulls, spectral hounds, ghosts on horseback, white rabbits and phantom ships.”

 

The Witchcraft Papers – collected and edited by Peter Haining

They may not have captured the public imagination quite like the Salam witch trials, but the witch persecutions that took place in Scotland from 1560 were far more numerous. Haining tells their harrowing story using contemporary documents and reports.

 

 

Happy Halloween! Here’s A Zombie Video Starring Our Bookshop...

Last year, the bookshop served as location for a promotional film for a Zombie Survival Manual and, with Halloween looming, what better time to dust off the cobwebs from our on-screen debut?

 

Check out the clip below – you'll be glad you did when the zombie apocalypse comes...

A Bigger Store For An Expanding Bookshop! (Photos)

Clevedon Community Bookshop has leased an industrial unit on the Tweed Road Estate to house its book stock and its internet shop – and this past Saturday (18th September) was moving day!

 

With over 650 boxes containing some 15,000 books to shift from the existing stores on Woodland Road and behind Stafford Garage, this was no small feat. However, thanks to the hard work of a team of dedicated volunteers, the whole operation was completed in just a single day and with minimal disruption to normal shop operations.

 

Angela Everitt, a founder member of the Bookshop Co-operative,

notes that the move was a real exercise in co-operative teamwork: 'It was a day full of energy, good spirit and efficiency. So much so that, while we thought we would have to close the internet shop for at least a week to give us a chance to get it all in order again, throughout we remained open to book-buyers around the world.

 

'It was a really good experience of co-operative working.'

 

Peter Brooks, co-ordinator of the book stores, adds: ‘We had van drivers, sandwich-makers and everybody joined in humping boxes, members forming a box carrying chain between the store and the van.’

The last box!
The last box!

The new store will make it easier to retrieve books from stock in response to requests from customers to the Bookshop in Copse Road. Meanwhile, the Bookshop Co-operative will be able to upload more books for selling on the internet.

 

Jeff Bidwell, who co-ordinates the cataloguing of books for internet selling, explains: 'We have approximately 4000 books online now but by the beginning of November this should expand to 7000 books.

 

'Online selling complements sales from our popular Copse Road Bookshop and is important in helping to make our bookshop in Clevedon sustainable.

 

'We are now planning to have a dedicated computer in the Copse Road Bookshop for customers to browse all our stock, those in the bookshop and those in the store.'

Celebrating the end of a successful day
Celebrating the end of a successful day

This latest stage in the Bookshop's development reflects our success as a thriving second-hand bookshop, not to mention the generosity of people in Clevedon and North Somerset in their donations of books.

 

Here's to another big step foward for the Bookshop!

More photos of the big move below:

Bookshop Window Displays: Retrospective Gallery

Each month, the bookshop façade is transformed into an eclectic gallery of handcrafted exhibits by our wonderfully inventive window dressing team.

 

Their themed displays have seen the bookshop window, at various times, decked out with deckchairs, festooned with flying teapots and adorned with autumn leaves (courtesy of Mary Elton Primary School). Oh, and there was that one festive period when it was overrun by Christmas sheep!

 

You can see these and many other examples of the team’s inspired handiwork in our retrospective gallery of bookshop window displays below:

If you fancy joining the team, please get in touch with the bookshop. You don't have to be a budding Picasso, just have bags of imagination and a willingness to get stuck in with pens, paper, glue and whatever else you have to hand!

Crime Reading List: 7 Classic Crime Fiction Novels

We’ve got true life and fictional crime in our crosshairs this month -- as you may have deduced from our Broadchurch-inspired window display and the life-size chalk body outline on the floor! In keeping with this theme, we’ve tracked down some of our favourite classic crime titles…

 

The following paperbacks are part of our off-site inventory, and can be ordered in for collection from the bookshop – just phone/email us or pop by the shop.  All books in stock at time of writing!


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985) – Patrick Suskind

 

Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill...

 

A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading – Literary Review

 

A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ... a remarkable début – Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review


The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House (2008) – Kate Summerscale

 

A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

 

It is a beautiful piece, written with great lucidity and respect for the reader, and with immaculate restraint. A classic, to my mind, of the finest documentary writing – John Le Carre

 

I can't think of another book which takes you so fast into the smells, tastes and atmosphere of that time – Doris Lessing


Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow (1992) – Peter Høeg

 

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop. The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.

 

On one level, both a whodunnit and a thriller - ingeniously plotted. Extremely hard to put down. Peter Høeg's novel is already making for classic status – Independent

 

Unusual and enveloping. Extraordinarily evocative, atmospheric and poetic – Sunday Times


New York Trilogy (1985-6) – Paul Auster

 

Moving at the breathless pace of a thriller, these uniquely stylized detective novels include City of Glass in which Quinn, a mystery writer, receives an ominous phone call in the middle of the night. He’s drawn into the streets of New York, onto an elusive case that’s more puzzling and more deeply-layered than anything he might have written himself. In Ghosts, Blue, a mentee of Brown, is hired by White to spy on Black from a window on Orange Street. Once Blue starts stalking Black, he finds his subject on a similar mission. In The Locked Room, Fanshawe has disappeared, leaving behind his wife and baby and nothing but a cache of novels, plays, and poems.

 

Auster’s best-known fiction, which reads as if Samuel Beckett were undertaking to refashion one of the more snarled plots of Raymond Chandler – Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

 

Auster has perfected a limpid, confessional style, then used it to set disoriented heroes in a seemingly familiar world gradually suffused with mounting uneasiness, vague menace and possible hallucination – Michael Dirda, Washington Post


True Grit (1968) – Charles Portis

 

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down and avenge her father's murder.

 

Comparable to her literary ancestor and fellow southerner, Huckleberry Finn … a gripping story made up of insightful digressions – Observer

 

One of those rare sweet delights ... one can recommend to inveterate fiction readers and to those who read only one or two novels a year – San Francisco Chronicle


The Name of the Rose (1980) – Umberto Eco

 

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

 

The novel explodes with pyrotechnic inventions, literally as well as figuratively . . . The narrative impulse that commands the story is irresistible …Mr. Eco's delight in his narrative does not fail to touch the reader – New York Times Book Review

 

Whether you're into Sherlock Holmes, Montaillou, Borges, the nouvelle critique, the Rule of St. Benedict, metaphysics, library design, or The Thing from the Crypt, you'll love it – Sunday Times


The True History of the Kelly Gang (2000) – Peter Carey

 

In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.

 

The best measure of the novel's excellence [is] that you never doubt it's Kelly's own words you're reading in the headlong, action-packed story filled with stage-coach holdups, bank robberies and backstabbing treachery – Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

 

Carey deserves to be lionized in his native land for this triumphant historical recreation, and he will undoubtedly win a worldwide readership for a novel that teems with energy, suspense, and the true story of a memorable protagonist – Publishers Weekly


Don’t forget you can now browse our full database of books (including more crime novels you won’t find in-store) using the free Readerware app – details here.

Steve “Three Channels” Price Entertains Bookshop Crowd With Tales of Landmark Swims

 

By Chloe Headdon

 

On Sunday 21st September, as part of the Clevedon Tides Festival, the bookshop hosted a talk by Steve “Three Channels” Price, a local long-distance swimmer and the first man to cross the Bristol, English, and Irish Channels.

 

The audience, which filled the back room of the shop, was kept thoroughly entertained; there were laughs, gasps, and not a few winces as we heard how Steve battled rolling waves, freezing temperatures, close scrapes with super-tankers, and jellyfish the size of tables (yikes!) to complete his landmark swims.

 

One particular highlight was Steve’s account of his attempt to cross the Irish Sea, a gruelling venture that has defeated many other swimmers, and which he indeed only successfully completed on his fourth try.

 

The evening ended memorably with a poem by one of his support-crew (read with great aplomb by Steve), recounting the miserable days spent in a bedsit in Dover, waiting for the perfect weather conditions to attempt the English Channel crossing. In all, it was a wonderful tale, and the audience’s enjoyment was clear in the vast number of questions they had for Steve at the end!

 

We at the bookshop would like to express our thanks to Steve, and we wish him best of luck with any swimming challenges he undertakes in the future. We are also delighted to say that, through ticket-sales for this talk, we have raised approximately £80 for the charity Marlens, which maintains the marine lake where Steve regularly trains. It is a pleasure to support Clevedon’s swimmers, many of whom attended the talk on the night.

The Bookshop Cooperative’s 2014 AGM: Report

By Jenny Wildblood

 

The Bookshop Cooperative’s AGM yesterday was a great success and well-attended, though sadly the meeting wasn’t quorate. This means that the business part of the meeting had to be suspended, and a new date for a meeting next week will be announced as soon as possible.

 

We heard the financial report from the current Treasurer, Graham Hill, who took us through the accounts. These showed some blips, notably around the two floods the Bookshop has experienced over the last 18 months which disrupted sales, but the good news was that sales have now more than recovered.

 

The Chair, Jenny Wildblood, reported on what the Board has been up to over the year since the last AGM in September 2013. This was followed by reports from all areas on the Co-op's operations, including Internet Sales and the Cataloguers. The reinvigorated Courses and Events were highlighted, and we closed with encouragement to anyone interested in volunteering to come forward.

 

We closed with tea and cake and the chance to see and appreciate some examples of the work of the Bindery and the Window Dressers. Many thanks to everyone who presented, and to everyone who made tea and helped set out the room.

It's our first birthday

At the end of 2012 the Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrated its first year. This community based shop opened its doors to everyone on the 31 December 2011 and the past year has been a fascinating learning experience. 

 

The next year of 2013 is anticipated with much excitement, firm hope and aspiration that the shop will continue it to build on establishing itself as an asset to the community, along with a renewed anticipation at continuing to trade in the fascinating world of books.

 

Recent press articles are highlighted below and can be read in more detail by following the links.

BBC web site - Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrates first year

A bookshop saved from closure by a local co-operative is marking its first year as a community owned enterprise.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

This is Somerset - Clevedon Community Bookshop leads way in co-operative revival

A bookshop saved from closure after 500 people joined a local co-operative to keep it open will be marking its first year as a community-owned enterprise this weekend.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

Clevedon People - Clevedon Community Bookshop first birthday

The only second-hand bookstore in Clevedon is set to celebrate its first birthday after starting a new chapter in its life as a community owned enterprise.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

North Somerset Times


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Join Our Window Dressing Team

Why not get the paint and glue flying and give it a whirl? All very welcome. No special experience or ability needed. 


We make things at home from recycled books, card, newspaper, wool, pencil, ink, paint - whatever is at hand - and meet monthly to change the display.

If you'd like to know more please contact sarahseesaw@yahoo.com
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Clevedon's Starring Role (With a Cameo From Our Bookshop)

Clevedon Community Bookshop featured in Somerset Life magazine's recent article on how Broadchurch -- which is filmed locally -- has created a definite buzz around Clevedon since it first hit our TV screens in 2013. Our crime-themed window display, inspired by the hit show, gets a mention, as does our very own Chloe.

 

You can read the full article by clicking on the images below:

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Volunteer Stories: The Out-Of-Town Donor

By Karyn Boniface, Bookseller


“Where do you get all your books from?” is a question that customers ask us booksellers a lot. The answer – “Donations from our wonderful, generous, book-loving customers” – is one that, back in the days when our bookshop was just an idea, we never dreamed of giving. And rather than drying up over time, donations are starting to arrive from even further afield.


Just the other day a lady called the shop to ask what our Monday opening hours were. So far, so normal. “10am until 4pm, every day of the week”, was my reply. Her response was lovely, surprising, and more than a little humbling. She had stumbled upon our shop while on holiday, and on returning home decided that she wanted to help. So, despite living in a far-off county, she was going out of her way en route to a meeting to donate some books to us.


Thank you. To both our anonymous out-of-town donor, and to all of the many other people whose donations keep us stocked with books of such fantastic quality. Your generosity helps to keep our shop running, and getting to chat with you all plays a big part in making the role of volunteer bookseller such a great experience.

Look out for more guest blog posts from our marvelous volunteers. For information about volunteer opportunities at Clevedon Community Bookshop, click here.

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Plea For Children's Picture Books: A Big Thank You!

In November last year, we sent out a plea for donations of good quality children's picture books. The response has been fantastic. Here is a message of thanks to everyone who donated from volunteer Jane Kelly:


Thank you so much to all those people who donated children’s picture books in response to my appeal.


We had a marvellous response with some really high quality books received. Many parents have come in with young children and left the shop delighted with their finds.


Any more that are no longer wanted will be gratefully received.


Thanks,


Jane

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CO-OPERATIVE FAIRY TALE: Once Upon a Time in Clevedon Community Bookshop...

We invited guests at our 3rd birthday party to contribute a line or two to a community story starring our very own bookshop. The result was this brilliant tale featuring our Angela Everitt, a naughtly Christmas elf and an amphibious leopard. Thank you to everybody who contributed!

A very naughty Christmas Elf
A very naughty Christmas Elf

Once upon a time in Clevedon Community Bookshop there was a very special party to celebrate their birthday. There were cakes and music and lots of people came: children, parents and older folk – all of them loved books and were having a lovely time until a dark shape filled the doorway.

Lo and behold it was the naughty Christmas Elf!

Suddenly it began to snow and huge flakes drifted into the house, and Angela got swept away on one!

 

But as luck would have it, Santa just happened to be flying past on his magic sled, pulled by eight prancing reindeer. He caught Angela, and carried her away to the Royal Oak. “Oh Santa!” said Angela. “Thank you so much! Can I get you a drink?”

 

“Yes please!” said Santa. “I’ll have a pint of bitter.”

 

But just as they were about to raise their drinks to their lips, suddenly they heard the sound of very LOUD drumming – it was those North Somerset Samba drummers disturbing the peace! People in the nearby café, having a nice quiet morning coffee, jumped in their seats. Cars stopped, seagulls looked on bemused, and passers-by began to dance to the beat. Quiet Clevedon became non-quiet Clevedon.

 

At the end of the drummers’ performance one of them glanced out into the Bristol Channel. What was that out there? It sure was big …

 

Suddenly a LEOPARD that had escaped from Bristol Zoo came towards them!!! (You see, this was the rare kind of giant, amphibious leopard that is native to Clevedonian waters.)

 

The leopard was a bit cross, because he had just wanted to go to the birthday party. He was a great lover of books – The Tiger Who Came to Tea was a particular favourite. Anyway, he shook off the chilly water and went inside for a cup of tea and some Smarties birthday cake. After eating all the birthday cake the leopard lay down behind the bookshelves for a sleep …

 

The booksellers didn’t notice him and locked up. But then he started snoring so loudly that everyone in the Royal Oak got scared and ran away. Bravely, with trembling fingers, Angela started to open the bookshop door …

 

And the first thing she saw was Eric the hungry caterpillar, who was SO fat after eating all the cupcakes, and he was hunting for one green leaf to round off his meal. Then suddenly the leopard came out from behind the shelves. Angela cried out! But then the leopard stood up on his hind paws (which were also webbed, this being an amphibious leopard), and introduced himself very politely. Angela wasn’t afraid any more …

 

She felt that she would go in search of some Clevedon Rock as she was so near to the sea – sure enough there was the shore, but the rocks were inedible. However she spotted Clevedon Pier. “Aha!” she said. “There may be rock that I can eat …”

 

So Angela bought some colourful rock and took it back to the bookshop, where she shared it with the book-loving leopard, who decided to become a volunteer. And the naughty Christmas Elf was never seen or heard of again.

 

THE END

Our 3rd Birthday Party!

On Wednesday 31st December, we threw open the bookshop doors for a very special celebrationour 3rd birthday! A huge amount of fun was had by all, with volunteers, shareholders and local supporters helping to make it a wonderful afternoon of food, drink, games, competitions and live music.

 

North Somerset School of Samba (pictured below) kicked off the party with a musical performance on the seafront, their Brazilian beats bringing some much-needed festive warmth to Clevedon's chilly seafront (and not just by getting people dancing in the street.)

Local musicians, including Jerry Turner (below left) and Steve Price (right), provided the musical entertainment within the more cosy surrounds of the bookshop.

The standard of entries to our Great Bookshop Bake-Off competition – in which people were invited to bake book-themed cakes – was incredibly high and produced some inspired edible creations. Bette and Jim Baldwin from Nailsea (below) won the adult category with their Alice in Wonderland-inspired cakes saying “Eat me” and “Drink me”. The children’s prize was awarded to Milly, aged 8, whose cake featured the sailing boats from Swallows and Amazons.

The Bookshop Co-operative Fairy Tale – which saw party guests of all ages contribute paragraphs to a collaborative story – resulted in a surreal twister of a tale starring our very own Angela Everitt and an amphibious leopard (of course!). You can read the finished story in its entirety here.

In fact, the story was such a success that we're considering making community story writing a regularly activity at the bookshop – so stay tuned for more on that!

 

A MASSIVE thank you to the organisers and shop dressers; the cake bakers and story writers; the talented local singers and musicians; the volunteers, shareholders and supporters; and everyone else who helped us celebrate our 3rd birthday with a party to remember.

 

Wishing you all a happy new year from Clevedon Community Bookshop. Here's to exciting new literary adventures in 2015!

 

More party photos, including those marvellous Bake-Off entries, below:

Come Join Us At Clevedon School's Christmas Fair!

For the third year running, the Bookshop Co-operative will be joining in the festivities at Clevedon School's Christmas Fair, the Christmas Extravaganza, on Saturday 13 December.


Between 11.00am and 4.00pm, we will be running a stall selling quality second hand books and a selection of other items, including book tokens (what better Christmas gift for the discerning book lover(s) in your life?).

Clevedon School Christmas Fair 2014

Other festive delights at the Extravaganza include donkey reindeer rides, a children's craft area and, of course, Santa's Grotto (described as the “Best in the South West” last year). We've also received word that two famous snow queens and their special friend will be making a guest appearance. Intrigued? We are!


All in all, it promises to be a truly magical day for all the family and we hope to see you there!

Plea For Children's Picture Books!

It's rare that we make a plea for donations as in most areas we have plentiful stock owing to the generosity of so many donors. The current exception to this is quality children’s picture books.

 

We would love to be able to replenish our Kids Corner with some classic picture books, however many of the lovely books we get in are too worn through repeated reading.

 

So if you have any Gruffalos or Tiger’s Who Came to Tea lurking in your house that need a new home, please consider gifting them to the bookshop. Such donations will be greatly appreciated, especially by our younger customers!

 

Spooky Halloween Reads For All Ages

We’ve searched the darkest recesses of the bookshop to find a selection of spooky books to get readers of all ages in the spirit (pun intended) this All Hallows’ Eve.

 

 

Chilling Children’s Poems

 

Is There Anything There at the Top of the Stair? Poems About Being Scared – Brian Moses

Poems for little ones that explore what it means to be afraid, and offer inspired ways to banish those monsters under the bed.

 

Seriously Scary Poems – edited by John Foster

An illustrated collection of seriously scary rhymes with such ghastly titles as Blood and Bones, The Frightening Phantom and The Fiend Fair of Horror.

 

 

Frightful Young Adult Fiction

 

The Midnight Hand – Paul Stewart

If ever there was a book designed specifically to get you quaking under the covers, this has to be it. From the jacket: ”For at midnight, when the bronze bell tolls, Tom feels something stroking his cheek, something cold and dry...a skeletal hand!” Terrifying!

 

The Frighteners – Pete Johnson

This creepy thriller from the best-selling author of The Ghost Dog finds schoolgirl Chloe pursued by diabolical drawings come to life. Johnson’s books have been dubbed Stephen King for kids and with opening lines like “In the middle of the night they came for me…”, we can see why!

 

 

Creepy Classics

 

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

Originally published as a 'shilling shocker', this dark psychological fantasy introduced the idea of the demonic alternate personality, a device that has been much imitated but never bettered.

 

The Turn of the Screw – Henry James

This supernatural classic charts the sinister transformation of two innocent children through the eyes of an impressionable governess. A masterclass in unnerving suspense and quiet horror.

 

Dracula – Bram Stoker

The sordid story of the ultimate predator, Count Dracula – AKA Nosferatu, the Un-Dead – as told by young lawyer Jonathan Harker who finds himself imprisoned in the evil vampire’s Transylvanian castle.

 

 

Spine-tingling True Tales

 

Conversations with a Witch – Lois Bourne

Witches get a bad rap around Halloween what with their bubbling cauldrons and evil spells. Here, a real-life witch’s personal reflections on clairvoyance, precognition and invisibility offer a timely alternative to the popular image of the cackling old crone.

 

Ghosts of the Lake Counties / Lakeland Ghosts – Gerald Finder

This book pretty much has it covered when it comes to ghostly entities. It promises to convey the “full legendary horror” of “boggles, white ladies, headless ghosts, skulking skulls, spectral hounds, ghosts on horseback, white rabbits and phantom ships.”

 

The Witchcraft Papers – collected and edited by Peter Haining

They may not have captured the public imagination quite like the Salam witch trials, but the witch persecutions that took place in Scotland from 1560 were far more numerous. Haining tells their harrowing story using contemporary documents and reports.

 

 

Happy Halloween! Here’s A Zombie Video Starring Our Bookshop...

Last year, the bookshop served as location for a promotional film for a Zombie Survival Manual and, with Halloween looming, what better time to dust off the cobwebs from our on-screen debut?

 

Check out the clip below – you'll be glad you did when the zombie apocalypse comes...

A Bigger Store For An Expanding Bookshop! (Photos)

Clevedon Community Bookshop has leased an industrial unit on the Tweed Road Estate to house its book stock and its internet shop – and this past Saturday (18th September) was moving day!

 

With over 650 boxes containing some 15,000 books to shift from the existing stores on Woodland Road and behind Stafford Garage, this was no small feat. However, thanks to the hard work of a team of dedicated volunteers, the whole operation was completed in just a single day and with minimal disruption to normal shop operations.

 

Angela Everitt, a founder member of the Bookshop Co-operative,

notes that the move was a real exercise in co-operative teamwork: 'It was a day full of energy, good spirit and efficiency. So much so that, while we thought we would have to close the internet shop for at least a week to give us a chance to get it all in order again, throughout we remained open to book-buyers around the world.

 

'It was a really good experience of co-operative working.'

 

Peter Brooks, co-ordinator of the book stores, adds: ‘We had van drivers, sandwich-makers and everybody joined in humping boxes, members forming a box carrying chain between the store and the van.’

The last box!
The last box!

The new store will make it easier to retrieve books from stock in response to requests from customers to the Bookshop in Copse Road. Meanwhile, the Bookshop Co-operative will be able to upload more books for selling on the internet.

 

Jeff Bidwell, who co-ordinates the cataloguing of books for internet selling, explains: 'We have approximately 4000 books online now but by the beginning of November this should expand to 7000 books.

 

'Online selling complements sales from our popular Copse Road Bookshop and is important in helping to make our bookshop in Clevedon sustainable.

 

'We are now planning to have a dedicated computer in the Copse Road Bookshop for customers to browse all our stock, those in the bookshop and those in the store.'

Celebrating the end of a successful day
Celebrating the end of a successful day

This latest stage in the Bookshop's development reflects our success as a thriving second-hand bookshop, not to mention the generosity of people in Clevedon and North Somerset in their donations of books.

 

Here's to another big step foward for the Bookshop!

More photos of the big move below:

Bookshop Window Displays: Retrospective Gallery

Each month, the bookshop façade is transformed into an eclectic gallery of handcrafted exhibits by our wonderfully inventive window dressing team.

 

Their themed displays have seen the bookshop window, at various times, decked out with deckchairs, festooned with flying teapots and adorned with autumn leaves (courtesy of Mary Elton Primary School). Oh, and there was that one festive period when it was overrun by Christmas sheep!

 

You can see these and many other examples of the team’s inspired handiwork in our retrospective gallery of bookshop window displays below:

If you fancy joining the team, please get in touch with the bookshop. You don't have to be a budding Picasso, just have bags of imagination and a willingness to get stuck in with pens, paper, glue and whatever else you have to hand!

Crime Reading List: 7 Classic Crime Fiction Novels

We’ve got true life and fictional crime in our crosshairs this month -- as you may have deduced from our Broadchurch-inspired window display and the life-size chalk body outline on the floor! In keeping with this theme, we’ve tracked down some of our favourite classic crime titles…

 

The following paperbacks are part of our off-site inventory, and can be ordered in for collection from the bookshop – just phone/email us or pop by the shop.  All books in stock at time of writing!


Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (1985) – Patrick Suskind

 

Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets of Paris as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more powerful than any other human's. Soon, he is creating the most sublime fragrances in all the city. Yet there is one odour he cannot capture. It is exquisite, magical: the scent of a young virgin. And to get it he must kill. And kill. And kill...

 

A fantastic tale of murder and twisted eroticism controlled by a disgusted loathing of humanity ... Clever, stylish, absorbing and well worth reading – Literary Review

 

A meditation on the nature of death, desire and decay ... a remarkable début – Peter Ackroyd, The New York Times Book Review


The Suspicions of Mr Whicher or The Murder at Road Hill House (2008) – Kate Summerscale

 

A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery - a body; a detective; a country house steeped in secrets. In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.

 

It is a beautiful piece, written with great lucidity and respect for the reader, and with immaculate restraint. A classic, to my mind, of the finest documentary writing – John Le Carre

 

I can't think of another book which takes you so fast into the smells, tastes and atmosphere of that time – Doris Lessing


Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow (1992) – Peter Høeg

 

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop. The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.

 

On one level, both a whodunnit and a thriller - ingeniously plotted. Extremely hard to put down. Peter Høeg's novel is already making for classic status – Independent

 

Unusual and enveloping. Extraordinarily evocative, atmospheric and poetic – Sunday Times


New York Trilogy (1985-6) – Paul Auster

 

Moving at the breathless pace of a thriller, these uniquely stylized detective novels include City of Glass in which Quinn, a mystery writer, receives an ominous phone call in the middle of the night. He’s drawn into the streets of New York, onto an elusive case that’s more puzzling and more deeply-layered than anything he might have written himself. In Ghosts, Blue, a mentee of Brown, is hired by White to spy on Black from a window on Orange Street. Once Blue starts stalking Black, he finds his subject on a similar mission. In The Locked Room, Fanshawe has disappeared, leaving behind his wife and baby and nothing but a cache of novels, plays, and poems.

 

Auster’s best-known fiction, which reads as if Samuel Beckett were undertaking to refashion one of the more snarled plots of Raymond Chandler – Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Review of Books

 

Auster has perfected a limpid, confessional style, then used it to set disoriented heroes in a seemingly familiar world gradually suffused with mounting uneasiness, vague menace and possible hallucination – Michael Dirda, Washington Post


True Grit (1968) – Charles Portis

 

There is no knowing what lies in a man's heart. On a trip to buy ponies, Frank Ross is killed by one of his own workers. Tom Chaney shoots him down in the street for a horse, $150 cash, and two Californian gold pieces. Ross's unusually mature and single-minded fourteen-year-old daughter Mattie travels to claim his body, and finds that the authorities are doing nothing to find Chaney. Then she hears of Rooster - a man, she's told, who has grit - and convinces him to join her in a quest into dark, dangerous Indian territory to hunt Chaney down and avenge her father's murder.

 

Comparable to her literary ancestor and fellow southerner, Huckleberry Finn … a gripping story made up of insightful digressions – Observer

 

One of those rare sweet delights ... one can recommend to inveterate fiction readers and to those who read only one or two novels a year – San Francisco Chronicle


The Name of the Rose (1980) – Umberto Eco

 

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. A spectacular popular and critical success, The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

 

The novel explodes with pyrotechnic inventions, literally as well as figuratively . . . The narrative impulse that commands the story is irresistible …Mr. Eco's delight in his narrative does not fail to touch the reader – New York Times Book Review

 

Whether you're into Sherlock Holmes, Montaillou, Borges, the nouvelle critique, the Rule of St. Benedict, metaphysics, library design, or The Thing from the Crypt, you'll love it – Sunday Times


The True History of the Kelly Gang (2000) – Peter Carey

 

In True History of the Kelly Gang, the legendary Ned Kelly speaks for himself, scribbling his narrative on errant scraps of paper in semiliterate but magically descriptive prose as he flees from the police. To his pursuers, Kelly is nothing but a monstrous criminal, a thief and a murderer. To his own people, the lowly class of ordinary Australians, the bushranger is a hero, defying the authority of the English to direct their lives. Indentured by his bootlegger mother to a famous horse thief (who was also her lover), Ned saw his first prison cell at 15 and by the age of 26 had become the most wanted man in the wild colony of Victoria, taking over whole towns and defying the law until he was finally captured and hanged. Here is a classic outlaw tale, made alive by the skill of a great novelist.

 

The best measure of the novel's excellence [is] that you never doubt it's Kelly's own words you're reading in the headlong, action-packed story filled with stage-coach holdups, bank robberies and backstabbing treachery – Malcolm Jones, Newsweek

 

Carey deserves to be lionized in his native land for this triumphant historical recreation, and he will undoubtedly win a worldwide readership for a novel that teems with energy, suspense, and the true story of a memorable protagonist – Publishers Weekly


Don’t forget you can now browse our full database of books (including more crime novels you won’t find in-store) using the free Readerware app – details here.

Steve “Three Channels” Price Entertains Bookshop Crowd With Tales of Landmark Swims

 

By Chloe Headdon

 

On Sunday 21st September, as part of the Clevedon Tides Festival, the bookshop hosted a talk by Steve “Three Channels” Price, a local long-distance swimmer and the first man to cross the Bristol, English, and Irish Channels.

 

The audience, which filled the back room of the shop, was kept thoroughly entertained; there were laughs, gasps, and not a few winces as we heard how Steve battled rolling waves, freezing temperatures, close scrapes with super-tankers, and jellyfish the size of tables (yikes!) to complete his landmark swims.

 

One particular highlight was Steve’s account of his attempt to cross the Irish Sea, a gruelling venture that has defeated many other swimmers, and which he indeed only successfully completed on his fourth try.

 

The evening ended memorably with a poem by one of his support-crew (read with great aplomb by Steve), recounting the miserable days spent in a bedsit in Dover, waiting for the perfect weather conditions to attempt the English Channel crossing. In all, it was a wonderful tale, and the audience’s enjoyment was clear in the vast number of questions they had for Steve at the end!

 

We at the bookshop would like to express our thanks to Steve, and we wish him best of luck with any swimming challenges he undertakes in the future. We are also delighted to say that, through ticket-sales for this talk, we have raised approximately £80 for the charity Marlens, which maintains the marine lake where Steve regularly trains. It is a pleasure to support Clevedon’s swimmers, many of whom attended the talk on the night.

The Bookshop Cooperative’s 2014 AGM: Report

By Jenny Wildblood

 

The Bookshop Cooperative’s AGM yesterday was a great success and well-attended, though sadly the meeting wasn’t quorate. This means that the business part of the meeting had to be suspended, and a new date for a meeting next week will be announced as soon as possible.

 

We heard the financial report from the current Treasurer, Graham Hill, who took us through the accounts. These showed some blips, notably around the two floods the Bookshop has experienced over the last 18 months which disrupted sales, but the good news was that sales have now more than recovered.

 

The Chair, Jenny Wildblood, reported on what the Board has been up to over the year since the last AGM in September 2013. This was followed by reports from all areas on the Co-op's operations, including Internet Sales and the Cataloguers. The reinvigorated Courses and Events were highlighted, and we closed with encouragement to anyone interested in volunteering to come forward.

 

We closed with tea and cake and the chance to see and appreciate some examples of the work of the Bindery and the Window Dressers. Many thanks to everyone who presented, and to everyone who made tea and helped set out the room.

It's our first birthday

At the end of 2012 the Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrated its first year. This community based shop opened its doors to everyone on the 31 December 2011 and the past year has been a fascinating learning experience. 

 

The next year of 2013 is anticipated with much excitement, firm hope and aspiration that the shop will continue it to build on establishing itself as an asset to the community, along with a renewed anticipation at continuing to trade in the fascinating world of books.

 

Recent press articles are highlighted below and can be read in more detail by following the links.

BBC web site - Clevedon Community Bookshop celebrates first year

A bookshop saved from closure by a local co-operative is marking its first year as a community owned enterprise.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

This is Somerset - Clevedon Community Bookshop leads way in co-operative revival

A bookshop saved from closure after 500 people joined a local co-operative to keep it open will be marking its first year as a community-owned enterprise this weekend.

 

Please click here to read the full article.

Clevedon People - Clevedon Community Bookshop first birthday

The only second-hand bookstore in Clevedon is set to celebrate its first birthday after starting a new chapter in its life as a community owned enterprise.

 

Please click here to read the full article.