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Established by Sam Read, the bookshop has traded as a small independent bookshop since 1887, taking advantage of its position on Grasmere village green. There can be few places in the country that can lay claim to so many literary connections, from Wordsworth, Coleridge and the Romantics, to John Ruskin, Beatrix Potter, EM Forster, Arthur Ransome and Malcolm Lowry. More recently a wealth of poets have held residencies in the village, from Paul Farley and Jack Mapanje to Helen Mort and Zaffar Kunial.


The shop has had only 6 owners in its history. Sam Read, a prominent local Victorian, passed the business on to his daughter Helen, who ran it until the 1950’s. The shop then passed out of the family but the name has lived on – for obvious reasons!


The shop has always prided itself on its range of books and quality of service.


Opening hours from Summer 2020 are:

Monday to Friday: 13.30-17.30

Weekends: 9.30-13.30 and 14.00-17.30


Do contact us if you'd like to order a book and collect it from the shop. If you are unable to come and visit the shop, please browse these web pages and contact us with any orders or requests.

From 1887 to the Internet...


Winner of 2006 Times/Independent Alliance Competition for Best UK Independent Bookshop