I visited Bath recently (find out more about that here) and no trip is complete without checking out the local bookshops. I first heard about Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights a few years ago. I heard all about the helpful booksellers and the wonderful children’s section, so I couldn’t wait to visit!
As you walk through the door, you’re greeted with lots and lots of lovely fiction and a display table stacked with curated titles. I’ve mentioned in my Tour of London Bookshops posts that curated tables are really important to me. I visit a lot of bookshops and it’d be incredibly boring if every display table looked the same!
I then headed to the children’s section!
I love it when booksellers make an effort with their children’s departments, like storing board books in this adorable house-shaped bookcase and providing tiny chairs for little ones to sit on! I lurked around for a little while before taking photos because I was waiting for two eager young readers to leave – they just kept picking up more and more books!
If you can’t have a book bath in Bath, where can you have one? I had been anticipating a tub that had been filled to the brim with books, but it’s a fun shelf display instead, which is a lot less likely to damage the books!
More brilliant children’s books on display!
You may notice there’s a gap on one of the shelves. This is because I bought the book that was being recommended by Mr B’s booksellers: Katherine Woodfine’s The Mystery of the Clockwork Sparrow. I ruined the display, sorry!
I loved all the little quirky additions in this bookshop – notes, paintings, maps, bookseller biographies and illustrations stuck to the walls. You can purchase a voucher for the Reading Spa – spend time in the Bibliotheraphy Room with a stack of books specially picked out for you. Or maybe you just want to hang out in the private reading room for a little while.
Upstairs I go! Old cartoons cover the walls of the staircase.
You’re always surrounded by books, often face out because that’s the best way to browse.
I strolled upstairs and discovered a maze of bookcases with cosy chairs and chandeliers.
More books on display, this time on the travel table (and some picturesque postcards for you to send once you’re on holiday).
As with all good bookshops, the booksellers are always around to help if you’re unsure about what to read next.
Mr B’s is chaotic with purpose. If there’s any spare space, it’s filled with books without ever feeling untidy.
And now we’re in the stunning Bibliotheraphy Room.
Here’s where the comfy armchairs and fireplace are situated, accompanied by even more recommended books! I couldn’t take a proper photo of the area because a lady was already there, looking very relaxed with her pile of books, slice of cake and coffee pot.
I enjoyed being surrounded by signs that said ‘MORE BOOKS!’. Let’s go and find them.
I came across this paper figure, propping up a shelf along with a lovely stack of Penguin English Library classics.
Downstairs is full of diverse non-fiction, plus…
I didn’t expect to see Chris Riddell here! I didn’t think to look inside the bathroom but there are lots to check out in there too – I am not joking.
I chose to end with this photo because it sums up Mr B’s. It’s a delightful independent bookshop full of new discoveries – the displays, curated tables, bookseller recommendations and little notes from the public are the reason why bookshops like this need to exist. If you’re ever in Bath, make this a priority visit! (And don’t forget to buy a book).
Mr B’s Emporium Of Reading Delights • 14-15 John Street, Bath, Avon BA1 2JL • mrbsemporium.com
Next stop, Toppings & Company Booksellers of Bath!