The summer holidays are upon us, so what better time for a visit to our Bookshop of the Month – the charming White Horse Bookshop in the historic town of Marlborough! With the Marlborough Literary Festival coming up in October and a host of fascinating local attractions bringing visitors from all over the UK, we highly recommend popping in. To give you a little taster of what’s in-store (geddit), we chatted to bookshop manager Angus about his autumn literary highlights, nature writing, and the best things to see in the local area.
Autumn Highlights: The Marlborough Literary Festival – right on your doorstep – will take place in October. What literary highlights are you looking forward to at this year’s event?
There are so many to mention from the big hitters like Lionel Shriver, Michael Morpurgo and Jessie Burton to some fantastic non-fiction events like Tom Bower, Tom Holland. I suppose the real highlight though (and probably the first to sell-out) will be Simon Russell Beale taking about Shakespeare. We are terrifically lucky!
Independent bookshops can be part of the lifeblood of a community. What are the unique benefits that White Horse Books offers the local area?
I am not sure how unique we are, other than still existing, but we are involved in most of the local arts events in some shape or form – selling tickets for most concerts, as a Jazz Festival venue and a Literary Festival venue, hosting our own Book Group as well as of course holding over 100 art courses a year and now having a gallery and event space which we have just completed to the rear of the shop.
Runners and Rider: This year the shop is sponsoring The Richard Jefferies Society Writers’ Prize for outstanding nature writing. What are some of your favourite books in this subject category?
We are living in a golden age of nature writing (one of the reasons we decided to sponsor the prize) so there are quite a few. Some of them would be: Robert Macfarlane The Wild Places, Stephen Moss Wild Hares & Hummingbirds, Tristan Gooley The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs, Rob Cowe Common Ground and Helen Macdonald H is for Hawk.
For first time visitors to Marlborough, what other attractions would you recommend visiting – after they’ve stopped by the shop!?
The Merchant’s House, four doors down, is a 16th century town house (a bit like ours) which remains in its original state and has free tours throughout the week. Further afield I would hugely recommend the drive to Avebury, past Silbury Hill. Stunning countryside and immensely affecting ancient monuments.
Monday – Saturday 9am – 5.30pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm