Is there anyone in the world who doesn’t love bookshops?
They provide quiet corners for contemplation, bright spaces for discussions, and unlimited chances to discover new voices. They are places of solace, comfort and joy.
Oh, and they also sell books. Lots of books.
To mark the exciting growth of independent bookshops in the UK, and celebrate Bookshop Day and National Poetry Day, two of our favourite poets have penned exclusive verses for Stylist, sharing their love of bookshops and all they can offer.
Wherever you are in the world, take a moment to unwind with their beautiful words – and congratulations if you happen to be standing in a bookshop right now, because we’re sending bonus points your way.
Welcome to the Bookshop by Jen Campbell
Hello, time traveller.
Hello, wordsmith and translator.
Hello, learner and watcher.
Hello, listener and grower.
(That’s those who like to read in bed.)
Here’s a map.
Mind the gap.
On the first floor, there be dragons.
On the second, flying lessons.
On the third floor there’s a forest.
On the fourth, a choir of sonnets.
On the fifth, if you’re quick,
you can discuss politics
with any character from history.
On the sixth, let’s solve a mystery.
When you’re done, pull up a seat,
we’ll have some cake and drink some tea.
Check for crumbs, crack that spine,
choose which words to underline.
Untitled by Charly Cox
Is there much nicer
Than walls filled with rows
Of heights you can’t reach
Of books filled with pages
Of words soon to read
Of corners to hide in
Of hard sleeves to cry in
Of names to confide in
All without speech
Is there much better
Much safer to know
When the world feels like hell
A bookshop is still home.
Looking for more poems? Head here