Brentwood's very own independent children's bookshop and tuition centre all under one roof!
The independent children's bookshop and tuition centre in the heart of Brentwood, Essex.
Owned and run by Mr Frog & Mrs Chicken (happily married book-nerds), with the sole aim of bringing high quality books and tuition to our community.
We have very exciting news to share…we are expanding. And I don’t just mean the waistband situation post lockdown. That’s a whole different blog.
When we moved to Crown Street, we decided not to take on the whole building, because it felt huge compared to Ongar Road. Fast forward 19 months and we’re going to be knocking through the wall that was lovingly put in place by our friend Phil, so that we can indeed take over the rest of the building. Sorry Phil.
What will we do with all that extra space? I’ll tell you. The plan is to move the older end of our book range (from age 12 to adult) over to the ‘annexe’. We have wanted to stock Manga for years – now we will have the space to do so. In addition, we will be stocking a range of literary-themed goodies, from The Literary Gift Company and Retro from Scratch. It will have a different aesthetic from the rest of the shop – dark furniture, comfy armchairs and an absence of Lego. One thing will remain the same and that’s our passion for bringing an eclectic mix of hand-picked books to Brentwood.
There are two rooms upstairs, one of which will be available for hire once it’s had a lick of paint. Our wonderful Spanish tutor plans to run after school sessions for children and adults, on Wednesdays and Thursdays, but apart from that, it’s empty.
That’s our news! We are aiming to welcome you to the annexe within the month. Now, where are those paintbrsuhes…
Hello lovelies. Apologies for the distinct lack of blogging over the past few months. The weirdness of the year stole my blogging mojo from me, but I can feel it creeping back, ever so slowly.
First and foremost, how are you? I mean that. Life is tough and we are here for you. You can come in for a chat, as much as a book. Since re-opening, the chats with customers have definitely been the highlight.
Anyhoo, we have been busy, so thank-you. We truly appreciate the support that has come our way. It’s a privilege (and relief) that we not only survived, but thrived during lockdown. Phew!
As life begins to readjust, we are moving back towards in-person clubs and events. The book club for adults is proving very popular. So much so, that we will be running three separate groups in the same week. Spaces are full for now, unless you would like to join via zoom, in which case, so let me know.
We are working with the glorious Brentwood Theatre, to bring families a summer festival of arts…watch this space for an announcement very soon.
That’s it for today. I just wanted to poke my head above the parapet, give a friendly wave and let you know that we are here for you.
With the 12th of April looming, the shop has had a bit of a spruce up. Children who are looking for short chapters with lots of illustration, will have their own nook to investigate. The early reading section has also been relocated, just away from picture books, so that our emerging independent readers feel a bit more grown up!
The Games Workshop stock has been shuffled around too, to make way for a section for adults. Not ‘adult’ books though – that would be a very different kind of shop! We will be stocking a range of fiction and non-fiction, including some beautiful signed editions and indie exclusives as they come in.
We are looking forward to removing the desk from the doorway, so that you can come in for a browse. You just cannot beat a good old mooch around a shop can you?
In the meantime, do take a look at the events page, which is bursting with fabulous activities to keep you busy over the Easter hols.
Here’s the thing. We love WBD and what it stands for, we really do. At its heart, the day is about getting a book into the hands of as many as children as possible. It raises awareness of the importance of books. Wonderful.
However, it comes at a price. Not to you, the consumer, but to us, the booksellers. And that’s fine too, to a degree. We choose to buy in to the scheme. The bugbear is that every year, many people come in with several tokens per child, asking us to redeem them. We do not get that £1 back. So, if it’s exchanged for a WBD title, all well and good. But, if it’s used to offset the price of another book, not so great. To put it into perspective for you, the average £6.99 paperback costs us £4.05 to buy in. The mark up is poor! Once you factor in rent, rates, blah, blah, blah…you can start to understand why there aren’t many millionaire bookshop owners!
To that end, we simply can not sustain the £1 off model. Especially when the tokens are now available via MacDonald’s, various children’s magazines and schools too.
So, I hope that you understand why we’re being tough this year. Please do come and exchange your token with us – we love seeing you. Even it’s just on the doorstep! But, we will no longer be discounting books with the WBD token.