Saturday, June 18, 2005

More on Scarthin Books

A couple of reviews from this page of the Guardian site give the flavour of the place:

Scarthin Books, The Promenade, Scarthin, Cromford, Derbyshire DE4 3QF; Tel: 01629 823272.

Scarthin Books, in the old Arkwright village of Cromford, is for retrieving those rainy afternoons when visiting the Peak District. Advertising itself "for the majority of minorities", there is on first acquaintance no apparent order - yet the brilliant staff can pinpoint the book you are after. Stuffed with old and new books, I used to worry that the weight of the books stacked floor to ceiling would crash through to the floor below until I realised that the books below, stacked from ceiling to floor, would never let this happen. The tea is served in pots, the coffee is freshly ground and homemade homity pie can stretch the quick morning visit till late afternoon. Last week I watched a dog enter, unsuccessfully search the shop for its owner, and leave. It seemed quite natural and proper. While I know these things would never happen in Waterstone's, this is the perfect chaos of Scarthin books.

Charles Monkhouse

Only choice for me. Tucked between stone houses and an old chapel, it's more like a home than a shop (it doubled as the owner's home for years). It houses the most wonderfully and quirkily eclectic books - new and second-hand - anyone could want, it's the local forum for alternative thought, and the cafe serves brilliant organic meals, coffee and cakes. And the staff are great! I can never return from a day in the Peak District without calling in at Scarthin to recharge the batteries.

Andrew Cooper

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