Vivatramp

adventures, books & creative lifestyle.

COUNTRY PUBBING & BOOKSHOPPING: BOOKBARN INTERNATIONAL & THE WALDEGRAVE ARMS, SOMERSET

It's #IndieBookshopWeek so to celebrate I thought I'd share a little throwback to the last time I went book shopping. This post originally featured on my Patreon page back in February 2020 when I wasn't shielding from a global pandemic. Time flies when you're housebound, huh?!
Everything you're seeing here is pre-pandemic...back when sitting in a cosy pub or browsing books that hundreds of other people have touched didn't seem wildly inappropriate and reckless. 
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What's #IndieBookshopWeek? Independent Bookshop Week, which runs from 20th June to the 27th June 2020, is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign, run by the Booksellers Association, and it seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland. 

Whilst many of us can't get out to independent bookshops at the moment, many of our faves are offering online orders or orders by phone. If you're able to, treat yourself to a book or two from an indie or, alternatively, share links to your favourite bookshops on your various social media platforms and spread the love. 

This post isn't affiliated with the campaign and I haven't been asked to post any content. I just wanted to share this little adventure with you all and to share the campaign because it's something I support. I have, however, collaborated with them in recent years so I'm stating that here for full transparency. 

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I'll be back with more book related posts very soon but, for now, here's an adventure fit for bookish foodies and fellow Somerset dwellers.  

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This day featured two of my favourite things - a good pub and a good bookshop - so I felt like it deserved to be documented in some way, shape or form. 


My family and I are trying to make more of a conscious effort to visit new-to-us pubs and restaurants in Somerset as a way of trying new things, supporting local businesses and also seeing more of our beautiful county. (edit: dreaming of the day we can start doing this again)
I keep a running document of all of the places I've come across on my travels that we have yet to try and so far it has been full of bangers! I'll report back in the future with some Somerset recommendations once I've frequented a few more establishments. 
Today we ventured to The Waldegrave Arms in East Harptree - a little village pub around 15 minutes drive from the bookshop we were planning to visit so it seemed like the right time to stop by.
We all opted for roasts, of course, followed by bowls of local ice-cream in various flavours (honeycomb, chuckleberry, burnt butter, to name a few) and it was really delicious. The pub was really cosy and it was clear that a lot of care had been taken with the decor in the main pub rooms. 
There were even two roaring fires which made everything feel even more quaint. 

Whilst snapping a few photos outside, I stumbled across this little village book swap telephone box and had a little nose inside. Someone had donated the entire Twilight series so I'm sure that'll keep a curious pre-teen very happy at some point! 
I didn't see anything that caught my eye but I did spot a book from the Agatha Raisin mystery series that my Mum likes to read so we donated a book in exchange. 
I really want to start one of these boxes in my village but I'm not sure how to go about it. I'm also pretty sure it'd just end up being full of whatever I donated and nothing else. Maybe I'll bite the bullet one day and give it a go! Do you have one local to you? They're such a wonderful idea. 
After filling our bellies, we headed to Bookbarn Intentional for a look around and to donate many bags of books between us. 
I hadn't been there in a while, not since they started revamping the place, so it was interesting to see how things have changed. 
They have moved the room that's dedicated to old and rare books and have totally changed up the layout of the main bookshelves too so that everything is more open and airy. 
 A welcome change, for sure. 

Every book on the main shelves is £1 and the shelves are typically filled with beautiful broken spines that you could spend many an hour sifting through. They also have a warehouse full of stock, however, that you can search through using the computers. It's sorta like a bookish treasure hunt. 

One of my favourite things about the place is this little display they have up of all of the things they find tucked between the pages of the secondhand books that get donated. Photographs, letters, bookmarks, old ticket stubs, so many wonderful things that tell their own stories. 
It makes me want to start leaving more inscriptions in my books and to perhaps tuck little notes in there for safe keeping, either for myself or for my loved ones to find once I'm dead and they're left with a ton of books to sort through. I'm sure they'd really appreciate that...
Before we started browsing, it was paramount that we all sat down for a hot drink and a piece of cake despite only finishing dessert some twenty minutes beforehand. 
I opted for the chocolate sponge cake because I have good taste. 
It was then time to browse the many bookshelves. 
I didn't really have a lot of energy if I'm honest so I made a beeline for the M section in search of my girl Daphne. Luckily enough, I stumbled across an extremely ugly copy of The Flight of the Falcon that I later made mine.  Mum, meanwhile, treated herself to a few Agatha Raisin books that they had stored in the warehouse.
As I said, all of the books in the main section are £1 each so you can have a lot of fun with a fiver  but I was feeling quite restrained on this particular occasion. 
I did, however, spend a nice amount of time eyeing up all of the gorgeous, colour-coded spines dotted around the room. Is there anything more beautiful? No. 

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 After all that excitement, it was time to head home for a much-needed rest.  
What did you get up to the last time you went book shopping? 
Do you have any favourite independent bookshops you'd like to share with the class? 
If you're looking for independent bookshops to support, please consider buying from Black-owned bookshops.
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