Pop-Up Bookshop at CCCS

Posted on 9th Nov, 2017

Boys at Christ Church Cathedral School enjoyed a morning of browsing books and munching on cakes at the pop-up bookshop which came to the School. The innovation was the brainchild of Mr Watson, Head of English at CCCS, and Mrs Virgin, who runs Jaffé & Neale bookshop, in Stow-on-the-Wold.

“The best thing”, said Mrs Virgin, “was seeing the boys recommending books to each other. If you didn’t know what the boys were buying you would have thought they were in a toy shop. It is a common misconception that bookshops are like libraries but there should be no whispering. You should be allowed to voice your enthusiasm for the books just as you get excited about toys.”

Each class took time out of lessons to visit the pop-up bookshop in the bunting bedecked foyer of the William Walton Hall at the School. The boys bought more than 100 books in total, including those by less mass market authors such as The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliffe. Mr Watson’s Labrador, Waffle, the School’s Literacy Support Dog, kept boys company as they sat on beanbags and browsed.

A percentage of the profits from the sales went to the School, and Jaffé and Neale has kindly offered a further discount on books if we spend the money at the bookshop.

Gonzalo Torres Tatay, seven, said he much preferred buying books in a bookshop to online. “If you buy books on the computer you can’t read them and see if they are good for your age or too long,” he said. “I bought a book called Toto. I looked inside and it was really good for my age. I am looking for good conversations.”

Louis James, 12, who helped the younger boys with their selections, said: “We can take 20 minutes out of our day to properly enjoy the experience of going to a bookshop. In the tech age of the Kindle, books are less prioritised and you miss out on the physical presence of the book as a tome of knowledge and a place you can get lost in. If you have spent some time choosing a book you will actually read it and put your phone down for a minute.”

Mr Watson said he hoped the pop-up bookshop would be a regular event. "It’s just a joy to see our boys enjoying the Pop-Up Book Shop Experience, not clicking frenetically away at the pretty pictures and then waiting for the little brown box to turn up in the post, but mingling with each other and with the books, taking the time to read, to browse, to chat and to choose. I am extremely grateful to Jaffé and Neale for their support and look forward to many more such days at CCCS. Marvellous."

Headmaster Richard Murray, added: “I am thrilled that we had our very own bookshop in the heart of the school this morning. I adore bookshops – indeed we spend the holidays in Sedbergh, Cumbria, which is a Book Town. It is so important that the boys read for pleasure and they are so much more likely to do so if they have enjoyed choosing the book for themselves.”


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