Monday, 11 August 2014

Octavia's Bookshop, Cirencester

Last weekend, I headed to Swindon to visit one of my friends at university along with two other university friends. It was really nice to be all together again, laughing and insulting one another much like we do back in Bournemouth as well as planning our new house, which I'm moving into for the second year with these guys and two other friends.

While we were there, we took a trip to Cirencester, a lovely little Cotswold town in Gloucestershire, which reminded me of a smaller version of Bath. We had a wander around the independent, cute shops and along the cobble streets until we settled in a cafe named He Says, She Waffles which basically sells sweet or savoury waffles in every combination you could think of. I settled for smoked salmon and cream cheese waffle, which was delicious and so reasonable at only £5.

However, it was on our wander through the streets back to the car that we discovered one of the prettiest, friendliest bookshops I've come across in a while. Octavia's Bookshop is in one of the back streets, and specialises in children's books but also provides a selection of adult and reference books.

I recommended my friend to read Sarah Dessen so she bought ALONG FOR THE RIDE by Sarah Dessen while I found a posh student cookbook with some really yummy looking recipes which I wanted to try. We approached the till and were instantly met by two booksellers who were so friendly and lovely to talk to, it seemed like they knew exactly what they were talking about when another customer asked which they would recommend between two books she liked the look of. 

When my friend bought her Sarah Dessen book, she pointed in my direction when the bookseller said she would recommend it too so commenced out little geek out about how we both loved her writing, it was so good to speak to someone else who agreed wholeheartedly with why I love Dessen's writing. 
I noticed they had some 'Books Are My Bag' bags hanging about, something I wanted to join in for ages since the launch day last year which also happened to be the same day I moved to university. So, this was my chance to buy one and join in. However, when I asked about buying one, I was surprised by given one for free. So I am now the proud and delighted owner of a 'Books Are My Bag', a fact I kept repeating throughout the rest of the day.

Throughout my experience in Octavia's Bookshop, something was niggling at the back of my head that I recgonised the name of the shop. It wasn't until I was having my geek out at the till that I noticed that last year, Octavia's Bookshop was the winner of The Bookseller Best Independent Children's Bookseller. I remember reading a spread about the shop in The Bookseller in a lunch break when I worked at Waterstones and thinking of how lovely a bookshop it sounded to visit. 

Octavia's Bookshop is the type of bookshop I love coming across - a diverse selection, enthusiastic and knowledgeable booksellers and just a great atmosphere. It's the type of bookshop I live to find in unexpected points in life and I hope to visit again. It makes me realise how we need more bookshops like this, yet there seem to be decreasing instead of increasing. When we left the shop, one of my friends exclaimed "I swear every time we visit a bookshop, Rebecca makes a friend". And that is what every bookshop for book lovers should be like...

Octavia's Bookshop, Cirencester

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