“ Address: 10 Beaumont Road / Church Stretton / Shropshire / SY6 6BN / England „
My Grandparents live in Church Stretton, so despite the town being quite small (and with mainly local shops), I always like to walk up town and have a look around. One of shops I like to head to is Burway Books, situated on Beaumont Road (off Sandford Avenue).
Burway Books is an independent bookshop which has been running since 1974. I have been going there, on and off, since I was a little kid. The shop is quite small, yet packed to the rafters with books and more books! There are books of all descriptions - fact, fiction, children's, biographies... you name it - and if they haven't got what you're after then they'll do their utmost best to get it for you.
My favourite section of Burway Books is the local section, the local history books being of particular interest. The local books are situated just inside the door and I'll spend quite a while browsing through them. While I am left alone to do this (I can't abide pushy shopkeepers), I am aware that the friendly staff are just behind the counter should I need any help.
During my most recent visit to the shop, I bought a couple of local history books - "The Temptation & Downfall of the Vicar of Stanton Lacy" by Peter Klien and "Titterstone Clee Hills: Everyday Life, Industrial History and Dialect" by A.E. Jenkins (who, it turns out, my Granddad knows!). As Burway Books is an independent bookshop, they tend to charge the recommended retail price listed on the book cover. However, the shopkeeper said she'd recognised me from my previous visit a couple of weeks earlier and asked if she'd given me a 10% Discount Card. She hadn't and so she handed me one this time to use the next time I visited the shop AND gave me a 10% discount on the 2 books I was buying! Now that's good customer service for you!
Students also get a 10% discount on all books by showing their student ID card and customers are offered a £5 bookshop voucher to be redeemed instore after 6 instore purchases of £9.99 or more. It's not often you see a local bookshop with offers like that!
Burway Books don't just sell books, they also hold a number of events throughout the year. Local authors (of which there seems to be an abundance of) don't just go to Burway Books to sign books, some of them also serve customers too (a nice addition and a great way to get talking to the authors). Events are also held away from the bookshop (as it is only small) and use local venues in the town such as the Methodist Church, Longmynd Hotel. They also have a "Book Forum" on the 4th Thursday of every month, between 2-4pm, at the Mayfair Community Centre, where they discuss books, poetry, literature etc in a friendly fashion with cake & tea.
Events and book-signings are always advertised in the shop window (if you're passing) and on their website - http://www.burwaybooks.co.uk/
Another useful thing about the shop is that it is situated by the Long Mynd Shuttle bus stop on Beaumont Road, so it is handy for walkers going up into the Long Mynd or other Stretton Hills. If they've forgotten their map or walking guide, then they can pick one up in Burway Books. I've seen one or two walkers pop in and ask for information and the staff have always been very friendly and helpful.
Burway Books isn't just a book shop, it's a book community!