Independent Bookshop Week 2019 – featuring #TheBristolBag

A number of weeks ago I was sent a tote bag depicting iconic Bristol landmarks in colourful artwork. Doesn’t it look gorgeous? In exchange I was asked to write about its design and functionality. I decided that, in order to do this, I needed to travel to the city and test it on location. The best way to test a tote bag is to fill it with books.

This week is Independent Bookshop Week – what better time to carry out my plan. On Wednesday afternoon I caught the train to Bristol intending to explore some of the city’s independent bookshops – previously I had only visited Waterstones and Foyles. A quick search in Google showed that other bookshops existed, although some were a little too far from the centre and spread out from each other for me to visit on foot in the time available.

Walking from Temple Meads Station to the harbour and then through Queen Square, I made my way up Park Street where I hoped to find the Last Bookshop. What a treasure trove it turned out to be.


Having browsed the shelves I struggled to limit my purchases – I will definitely be returning to this bookshop. My tote bag was now being put to good use and coping well with the added weight. It is constructed from good quality cotton canvas and has comfortable shoulder straps, easily taking my raincoat and new books.

I checked my phone for directions before making my way to the next independent bookshop Google had located.


Bloom and Curll is a small and eclectic bookshop featuring packed shelves, double packed in places, and tottering piles of both old and new titles. There was plenty to tempt me. I was even offered Jaffa cakes by the proprietor to keep me going while I made my selections.


What books did I buy on my day out, I hear you ask.

The top four are for myself and the bottom for my daughter – her reward for accompanying me. I did not come across any titles from my beloved independent publishers, but each of my purchases have been on my radar for quite a while.

Now I just have to find time to read them before my ever growing TBR pile falls over and inflicts serious damage.


The Bristol Bag was designed by a Bradford on Avon based company, Overt Design, who have created colourful tote bags featuring iconic landmarks for five local locations.