Sunday 16 May 2010

Scarthin Books

In the village of Cromford, overlooking the village pond, is Scarthin Books - a building which is as full of character as it is of books. According to the shop leaflet, there are about thirteen rooms, spread over three floors, containing 100,000 books! There are books new, second-hand, antiquarian, specialist; on topics ranging from science to sociology, herbal remedies to holy places, biographies to bee keeping.

There are seats on every level.

The about thirteen rooms include a music room, an art room and a children's room. Other rooms have multiple labelled sections. On site, they aim to have good books on every subject, plus an online service for books they cannot store.  

The building has definitely reached capacity.

And finally, in the original household kitchen, there is a tiny cafe, tucked away behind a curved, swinging bookshelf and very easy to miss completely unless you follow your nose.

Here they serve...

fragrant coffees, teas and cakes, substantial soups with home baked rolls and savoury vegetarian dishes. 

I think I'll be going back for a sample!

One last point of interest:

Scarthin Books is an environmentally friendly set up, which includes composting kitchen waste. They tried composting books but, on having the compost analysed, found several hundred parts per million of lead and zinc in the output.

Top tip: Devour books; eat chocolate!


  1. That looks like a place I would happily get lost in :)

  2. there's a castle in hay-on-wye, wales that is crammed full of books, as well, though the books in this building are certainly a lot brighter.

    thanks for reading picky and leaving it some love.

  3. @ Daisy. I'd be very happy to take you :)

    @ criticalcrass - yes! I've been to Hay on Wye. Every second shop is a bookshop. A lot are second hand though.