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The Promenade, Scarthin, Cromford, Derbys. DE4 3QF. Tel: +44(0)1629 823272.

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      22.01.2001 21:48
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      Do you enjoy searching through thousands of new and second-hand books looking for books that have eluded you, bargains, or just really good reads. Then you must find your way to Scarthin Books at Cromford in Derbyshire. From the moment you arrive you know this is not going to be a five minute visit. The book shop is in an old large converted house and every nook and cranny in this three storey building is crammed full of books. Even as you walk up the staircases there are full bookshelves on either side of you. Shelves and shelves just feet apart have books on almost every subject you could think of. This very popular shop has a really vibrant feel to it and you can hear people really pleased when they find a rare book they have been previously searching for. The books are all sorted into categories, but there are so many categories that looking around can sometimes take some time, but what does take the time is that you find so many other interesting books that you usually forget what it was that you were originally looking for. Within a category you may well find a mixture of new and second-hand books, and with the good condition of some of the second-hand books sometimes the only give-away is the pencil price written in the front of the book. The staff are so helpful that if you can’t find any book or subject that you are looking for they will certainly help you find it. The staff will also order any book for you that is still in print, but what is more impressive is their service in finding books out of print. The staff at this shop seem to have so many contacts all over the country and are able to get almost any book – in or out of print. On one of our visits we asked if they could try to find an out of print book that we wanted and before we had got home they had found a supplier who had the book and left a message on our answering machine saying the book had been ordered. A couple of days later they rang to say
      the book was ready for collection, and even with the small search fee, postage costs etc. the price of the book was still less than the original selling price! There is a lovely little coffee shop in one of the rooms and even the door into this room has been turned into bookshelves, it is like walking into a secret hidden room. I think quite a few of the books are read in this room over a cup of coffee before people buy them. But, not only can you buy books here, but the shop will also buy books from you. Obviously the condition and the subject of the books will determine the price and whether they want the books or not. We have never sold any books to them but a close friend of ours has sold books to the shop and was very pleased with the price they received. One drawback with the shop is that unfortunately it not at all suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. The very small spaces between the bookshelves and the narrow staircases I am afraid just make it impractical. But the shop will take telephone orders and also has a very comprehensive website at: http://www.scarthinbooks.demon.co.uk/welcome.htm The shop also has a publishing service and will accept enquiries and a synopsis by post, and also from time to time also run bookbinding surgeries. The shop is not staid and old fashioned, but has encompassed modern technology with its huge database of books and the children’s room is always lively with not just “sensible” reading but many funny and interesting books for all ages. A trip to this shop is well worth a day out just on its own. Set in a beautiful part of the Peak District overlooking the pond at Cromford it is a very pleasant location. Finding the shop is not particularly easy and parking outside the shop is almost impossible, but there is a car park about 200 yards away and if you ask anybody in Cromford for directions they will point you in the right direction as ev
      erybody knows where this shop is. Have a nice day out and I am sure you will come away with some really good books.

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