Bath Spa is a city that has so much going for it: fabulous architecture, preserved history, natural hot springs in which it is possible to bathe, beautiful arts venues, and a vast array of shops. These shops include two of my favourite independent bookshops, one of which I finally managed to visit in person this afternoon. It proved to be even better than my impressive internet association had suggested.
Tucked away in one of the pretty side streets that make up the city centre, Mr Bs Emporium of Reading Delights is aptly named. The wondrous collection of books is laid out for the casual browser’s delectation over a warren of three floors with numerous nooks in which to settle down and enjoy the cosy atmosphere. Upstairs they even provide complimentary coffee which may be enjoyed whilst reclining on a comfy armchair by the fire.
To reach this upper floor one must climb some stairs at the far end of the shop. I was not the only person who stopped mid ascent to admire the Tintin comic strip wall.
If the cornucopia of books demands that you stay longer than anticipated then never fear, customer toilets are provided and both give users plenty to look at. No time need be wasted.
I have highlighted only a few of the many quirky characteristics and interesting displays in this oasis of literature. If you get the chance then give yourself a treat and check it out.
The book selection is extensive and tantalising; the staff are friendly and knowledgeable; the atmosphere is second to none.