Book Shop Visit: Astley Book Farm

To celebrate a rare Sunday off work together, last week I surprised my partner with a trip to the Midlands second largest second hand book store, that was apparently not too far from our house.
Now when I say not too far, I mean about a twenty minute drive from our house, but, since our beloved car died (RIP Mary Shelley) we got a bus (30 minutes) then another bus (20 minutes) and then had a walk in the country (40 minutes). 
Yes, we really need to get a new car!
He didn’t know where we were going, so when we started walking down a country lane with no pavements, he seemed convinced I was leading him to some horror-film style death in the country. And sights like this only enforced the idea:
A very welcoming looking home…
But eventually, we made it Astley Book Farm, and I have to say it was definitely worth the journey. We were welcomed immediately, and also recognised from the photo I tweeted, and they seemed suprised (maybe impressed?) that we’d come all the way from Coventry on the bus.
The place is just what it says it is: a farm of books. There are barns full of second hand books, some very old and well read, some beautiful first editions in a glass case. It is a book lovers paradise.
My first stop was, of course, the children’s section, which is a hayloft in the main barn. Up a ladder, and with low ceilings (that are probably made for children and not lanky people like me!) the shelves are crammed with books that filled me with nostalgia.

I spent quite a while up there, trying to see evey title on the shelves. There were so many that I recognised from my childhood, it was hard not to just buy the whole lot. Some I’d forgotten existed, like this little beauty I picked up:

Others were ones I’d been searching for a while and literally squealed when I picked up. This one below is one whose title and author have eluded me for a while, and had me Googling things like “drowning child” and “weird dreams after best friend drowns”.

Unfortunately I didn’t find the book I’ve been looking for here, but I remain hopeful I will get it one day!
After buying a few books, we had a break in the lovely cafe and sat outside, enjoying the mild weather (if not sunshine). I had a healthy lunch of cinamon bun and cotton candy milkshake (I’m sure all the walking meant I deserved a ton of sugar!)
After another browse of the children’s section, I headed to the back of the barn to look at the sci-fi/fantasy section, and then the plays, where I picked up this, a play I have not read or seen before but would really love to do both (obviously I have read the source material though!)

After a quick look in the Ten Bob Barn (that’s 50p to young people!) we headed off on our long journey home.

Astley Book Farm is a wonderful, unique little bookshop that is sure to hold something for every type of book lover (and cake lover – seriously, I could have eaten everything in that cafe!) I’d definitely recommend a visit to anyone in the area. It made a lovely day out and we picked up some great books in the process.

My partner chose Fantastic Mr Fox, which I shall be stealing…

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