Based in the beautiful historic town of Sherborne, Dorset, September’s Bookshop of the Month is Winstone’s Books, which has won the British Book Awards South West Bookseller of the Year four times and was the winner of the Independent Bookseller of the Year nationwide award in 2016. Winstone’s is unashamedly passionate about books and reading and is stuffed to the gills with books stocking over 9,000 titles! We spoke with Wayne, the shop’s manager, to find out more about this fabulously light and well-laid-out independent:
1. According to your website, Winstone’s Books first opened shop in Sherborne in 2012. Are you planning on celebrating this landmark anniversary? If so, how?
We started the celebrations in April, we had a great party with face painting, storytelling, author visits cake and prosecco! We also have ongoing promotions such as Our Top Ten Favourites over the last ten years.
2. What makes your bookshop unique and how has this changed over the years of trading?
We here at Winstone’s Books Sherborne are completely focused on our local market and customers. We use data and space planning tools to reflect the wide range of titles we stock, and we change the layout to fit seasonal trends and our customer’s tastes.
3. Winstone’s Books has a bustling events schedule. What has been your favourite event thus far?
Sophie Irwin. Sophie worked for us when she was 17 and it is wonderful to see her succeed as a Harpercollins novelist – and we sold 120 copies of her debut hardback at a brilliant event!
4. What made you want to go into bookselling? What is your favourite and least favourite part about it?
Predictably a love of books. My favourite part of the job is seeing the new products. It’s still as compelling as when I started. The least is, of course, monthly paperwork…
5. And finally, do you have any exciting plans for the shop in the coming months that you’d like to share with us?
We have launched a Literary Festival in Frome which lands in September and we are busy planning a Travel Writing Festival for next year. We also have a very busy autumn events schedule planned ahead.