The owners of a thriving children’s bookshop in Oxfordshire are ready to pass on their store to someone new.
For book lovers, there’s hardly a notion more romantic than owning your own bookshop. Being long-term bookworms ourselves, we can imagine it all so clearly: authentic wooden floors, afternoons spent discussing the latest best-seller with our loyal customers… we might even get ourselves one of those sliding ladders out of Beauty and the Beast.
The only problem, of course, is that setting up a bookshop ain’t easy – it takes a lot of hard work. After all, it’s not like they’re often handed ready-made to the new owner, with an eager fanbase in tow, is it?
Well actually, this time it is. It may sound like a dream situation, but a gorgeous little bookshop in Oxfordshire is looking for a new owner, and the great news is it’s already up and running and very much thriving.
The Woodstock Bookshop in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, opened in May 2008 and has been run by Rachel Phipps ever since. Over the years the bookshop has hosted book talks with a huge list of prominent authors, book groups and both literary and poetry festivals. It’s become a much-loved gem for locals and even those who are willing to travel further afield to rifle through its papery treasures. It’s as much a friendly face in the area as well as purveyor of the latest titles and children’s books (which it specialises in).
But after nearly 12 years, Phipps has announced that her time at The Woodstock Bookshop has run its course, and she’s inviting those who are passionate about keeping the store going to apply to be its new owner.
Writing on the Woodstock Bookshop account, she says: “Would you like to buy a thriving independent bookshop? After almost 12 years I am running out of energy and ready for a change. I really hope there’s someone out there who would like to take it on!”
Although no further details have been revealed, the response has been phenomenal, both from those who are interested in the proposition as well as those who desperately want the bookshop to live on.
One Twitter user has replied to the tweet, writing: “I do hope that you find someone. It is a great shop and it would be missed!”
While another agreed: “Sorry to hear this. It’s a beautiful shop carefully curated selection and was an oasis of calm on a heart breaking day.”
The sentiment was also echoed by a third: “Oh, I love your bookshop! Alas, I live too far away to be a regular customer. Love your poetry festival, too. I hope you find a sympathetic buyer. *Thinks: if I were ten years younger…’*”
Although we hear more tales than ever of how highstreet stores are going under, this bookshop seems to be one of the few happy examples of how people are supporting their local independent stores.
Indeed, in response to all of the fellow bookworms who have praised Phipps and her bookshop, she has said: “So many customers have been in to the shop or written to us in the past few days saying how much they love the bookshop.
“A bookshop isn’t just a shop, it’s a space where people talk and meet each other. A community space.”
Hear, hear. And long may they live on.
Images: Becca Tapert