Image result for barton's bookshop leatherhead

Mum, Dad and I went to Leatherhead by train yesterday, for a funeral at the Parish Church. I don’t think any of us had been to Leatherhead before, and the town seemed a little confusing I suppose, however, we arrived by train, walked through a park and made our way into the town, searching for the High Street. Before long we found our way to the bottom of the hill, where we found Barton’s Bookshop.

We were about an hour early for the service and to be honest, even if we weren’t, I think we would have deviated from our purpose… After all it was a bookshop. From the outside it looked like one of those special shops… The building looked as though it was Tudor, or at least influenced by that period, with a lovely old black door. It was the smell, however, that emanated from the shop, that was so inviting. Not that soul enhancing aroma of old books, which to be frank, results in my closing my eyes with pleasure, but that other extraordinary smell, of a good bookshop.

This was a cornucopia of a bookshop – books for adults, for children, adults with the heart of children, reference books, fiction, picture books…an eclectic mix of wonderful volumes. It was a small room – but filled with books, the bookcases arranged so you could become lost, and disappear into the children’s section, never to be noticed by a searching parent… There were cards too, a small selection of CD’s of classical music, some audio books too (on tape), and some globes, but it was the selection of books that was marvellous. No piles of the same title here. Single copies, on the whole, making a wonderful range of books to tempt and delight. These were books chosen on their merit, range was important – there was no space for piles of a title…this was a store to spend time in, to search for that book you didn’t know existed…

Image result for barton's bookshop leatherheadPeter Snell, the proprietor knows his books – loves them; if you don’t enjoy reading, then you just haven’t found the right one. He obviously enjoys his books, his customers and making sure the right book goes away with the right customer. He is a joy, an enthusiast and his bookshop reflects this. The building in which Barton’s Bookshop resides, has, I believe three floors. This wonderful shop could only be improved if it were able to extend into these rooms above. I suspect, however, that they may be living quarters either for Peter Snell, or for some other person or other.

This is, I think the first ‘official’ Bookshop Review I have done (that apart from The Most Beautiful Bookshop in Venice) – but I don’t think it will be the last.

We need good Independent Bookshops, as much as we need Waterstones or Daunts. We need a range of bookshops, as we need a good range of books within them.

Both types of bookshop have different things to offer a discerning bibliophile.

So, if you are in Leatherhead, whether for a funeral or for some other reason, I would like to suggest that you either arrive early for your appointment, or leave it promptly and visit Barton’s Bookshop – the details are below.

Barton’s Bookshop Ltd

2 Bridge Street, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 8BZ

T. 01372 362 988