Forum Books Kids is an independant book shop situated in Corbridge, Northumberland (a lovely little village with some gorgeous shops that’s well worth a visit whether you’re into books or not!)
We most definitely ARE into books and so we made a special trip just to visit the bookshop with the intention of finding a good Christmas book to start our Christmas eve tradition of reading it together each year before bed.
The gentleman working in the shop that day was not over-run due to the appalling weather which not many people had bothered braving and so he spent the best part of our visit with us advising on this book and that, retrieving things from the gorgeous window display for us to look at and chattering with Molly, pretending to be scared when she jumped out at him shouting “Raaaa” (I believe she was pretending to be a dinosaur?)
We were recommended a beautiful book called “The Christmas Eve Tree” which I read with a cup of peppermint tea while Molly napped that afternoon. Its all about a little tree who doesn’t grow properly and is bout to be sentenced to a very short life on the rubbish tip when he’s rescued by a homeless boy and together they succeed in bringing back a sense of community and humanity to a busy bustling town. I agree it’s the perfect book to start our Christmas eve tradition with and so much nicer than a book about presents or Father Christmas…
We also picked up a couple of other beautifully illustrated books to put away for Christmas, one of them a signed copy left over from a book signing, and I had to really practice some restraint as there were so many lovely books that I wanted to buy for her, the sort that you just can’t find at big high-street bookshops. Next time perhaps.
Molly had an amazing time tearing around looking at everything and chatting to anyone who came in. The shop it’s self was decorated with such bright colours and drawings all over the walls, there was so much to look at, you didn’t know where to start. There was a little-person sized chair in the corner for browsing and a sample of one of the newest toys that had started to stock, pretendy sand which was sort of a sticky consistency, the kind you get when you mix cornflour and water, but it never dries out (magic!) as you can imagine Molly absolutely loved this!!
Before we left we made sure to sign-up to the mailing list so that we didn’t miss out on any more book signings (we’d already missed one of our favorite children’s author and illustrator Tim Hopgood) or activities (they do storytelling three times a week which Molly is already planning to go to with Grandma on one of their days together)
This one visit made me never want to buy books in another high-street bookshop ever again, the range and quality of books in independent bookshops is far superior, as is the level of customer service you experience and therefore the enjoyment factor and the whole experience is just way nicer. We found that we’d actually spent a good couple of hours just poking about, playing, chatting and exercising our imagination, bonding and choosing books together instead of me rushing in and rushing out having not been able to find what I actually wanted in the first place.
To quote Forum themselves “there’s nothing like a real book, and nothing like a real bookshop”…couldn’t agree more!