Storytellers, Inc. in St. Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire
Storytellers, Inc. ‘a book place for children’ opened its doors 4 years ago and this year became ‘a book place for everyone’. So not only does it have an impressive collection of children’s and YA books but the front of the store is now filled with even more books for you to take home and love.
So why do I love it? Well apart from the obvious answer of all the pretty books it’s because of the people who run it, Katie and Carolyn.
It might come as a surprise but despite being a massive bookworm for most of my life I was a solitary shopper when it came to books. Before Storytellers, Inc. I’d go in, hunt out what I wanted and escape.
Now I linger… Katie and Carolyn know me better than most people, especially when it comes to my reading habits. In fact Katie’s recommendations have become a huge part of shaping what I read. It’s down to her that I ventured into MG books (which I adore) and more often than not I’ll walk into Storytellers, Inc. and say: “what should I buy?” at which point she’ll point out various treasures which I inevitably take home.
Every Christmas I hand over some funds and Katie will make me a Christmas box of books. I don’t get to open this until Christmas Day but boy is it hard to resist a peak.
It’s not just me that adores this bookshop. Storytellers, Inc. has some incredibly loyal customers, most of whom are in one of the many book clubs. Currently there are seven clubs: 2 Adult, 2 Cross-over, Teen, Junior 2 for ages 10-12 and Junior 1 for 8 -9. They are run month to month, so if you can’t make one you just come to the next. You’ll be fed and watered and guaranteed a good read.
If you’ve never set foot in Storytellers, Inc. before you’ll be welcomed just like us regulars. Stuck on what kind of book you want? Katie and Carolyn will find you something. The selection of books truly is superb.
There is a drinks machine that makes wonderful hot chocolate (I can confirm this!) and excellent coffee (I have been reliably informed by fellow book club members). Have a rest in the ‘author’ chair while contemplating the books around you. There is a den for kids to play in (that I still want to climb into but as an so-called adult struggle to find a reason for). And during December Storytellers, Inc. had late-night shopping with food, drink and gift-wrapping.
Storytellers, Inc. runs plenty of events, be it with local schools and/or author signing/visits at the shop. Chris Riddell, A.F. Harrold, Sally Green, Erin Lange are just some of the authors I’ve met.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the Storytellers, Inc. Illustrator Calendar. Katie’s brainchild which is now in its third year and not just selling locally but being shipped all over, including art by Chris Haughton, Emily Gravett, Lucy Cousins and Mo Willems to name a few. Picture books might not be your thing but from an artistic point of view this really awesome and some of the original art sent in by the artists of previous years is now proudly displayed in the shop.
Katie must be doing something right because she won Young Bookseller of the Year 2012 and Storytellers, Inc. was winner of the Vintage Independent Bookshop of the Year 2013 and made the shortlist of Children’s Bookseller of 2014.
Storytellers, Inc. is the bookshop I wished I had growing up but I’m so happy I have it now.
What one book would you buy from there as a Christmas present, and who would you give it to?
I think I’d pick The Imaginary by A.F. Harrold because A) it’s wonderful. B) it works for all ages & C) I know that Storytellers, Inc. has pretty signed copies which make it an even better Christmas present.
Thank you for the fab post and the gorgeous pics, Luna! (And I'm DEFINITELY seconding the recommendation of The Imaginary.)
Luna is at Luna's Little Library and on Twitter.
Storytellers, Inc. is on Tumblr and Twitter.