Bookshop Musings

Over the last couple of months I have been working at Potterton Books πŸ“šΒ in Chelsea.

I have worked in all sorts of shops, but working in a bookshop πŸ“š has been by far the most enjoyable experience, mainly I think, because of the people πŸ‘§πŸ‘¦πŸ‘΄who come to visit.

People who visit bookshops are often on a personal mini quest. Β Once through the door, their exploration πŸ”­Β begins, not yet knowing what they will discover, but firm in the knowledge that there will be all sorts of delights πŸ’–. Β In they come and browse in the hushed silence, getting lost in all sorts of tomes, moving from one title to the next, and discovering new authors and new topics. Β They will by chance find a book πŸ“˜ on something they have long been interested in, or come across a really good yarn not yet read, there is always something to pique the interest.

And often the people who visit have stories to tell, the lady who has worked for 20 years designing television adverts πŸ“Ί and comes in for inspiration, the vintage car enthusiast πŸš—, always popping in to see if we have any new exciting titles, the interior designer 🎨who pops around the corner from Pimlico Road.

And often people just come in for a chat πŸ‘§. Β I like the way they feel they can come and sit for a little while in the shop and share their stories and I never quite know what to expect. Β Dogs are very welcome too 🐾🐩😊 and we might even make you a cup of tea β˜•οΈ.

We are an art and design 🎨bookshop πŸ“š, but we specialise in other books too, vintage and new, and we have all sorts – the latest garden 🌳design book, a new children’s πŸš‚ book, an out of print vintage cookery book 🍴. Β We also represent a number of artists and illustrators, so there are many prints and paintings to be admired and bought, Β we currently have an exhibition on of Beatrice Forshall‘s hand-coloured engravings.

I love this variety, and with new books and art arriving all the time I learn snippets of all sorts of things. Β We have just started a ‘Book Club‘ πŸ“šon the website, and this in-depth look at some of our authors and artists has been a chance to delve deeper into their work. Β I have also been updating the Instagram πŸ“±account @PottertonBooksLondon so do have a look for some daily bookshop inspiration.

We hold book signings and private views, recently Maggi Hambling 🚬gave a talk about her new book ‘Touch: Works on Paper‘ (if you get a chance to hear Maggi talk do go, she is really quite a character), a book signing for Neisha Crosland’s beautiful book ‘Life of a Pattern‘ and our next talk is to be Andrew Ginger and Peter York ‘in conversation’, to coincide with the launch of Ginger’s book ‘Cecil Beaton at Home‘. Β There is all sorts of exciting happenings.

If you haven’t been to a bookshop recently, you really should. Β I know you can buy all the books on Amazon, but part of the enjoyment is the discovery, the choosing and then buying of the book, and going away happy with your next read, or the perfect present. Β And you really never quite know who or what you might discover in a bookshop πŸ’•πŸ“š.

Alice xxx

Potterton Books London

Sunshine and books in the shop
A vintage textile fashion book
A favourite Ben Pentreath
Dahlias and photo of a statue at Charleston by Sue Snell
Wake up to Orange! Painting by Kate Pestkowska
Paola Navone’s first book Tham Ma Da
An interior by Black & Spiro from the Andrew Martin Interior Design Review book
A favourite visitor
Roses in the shop window
And books and paintings by Julian Sutherland Beatson in the window
Cockatoo by Beatrice Forshall, hand-coloured engraving
And Chelsea in Autumn 🍁🍁🍁