We are delighted to welcome Mr.B’s Emporium as Official Bookseller of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival!

We are delighted to welcome Mr.B’s Emporium as the Official Festival Bookseller of Bath Children’s Literature Festival. This wonderful bookshop has a fantastic array of all the fabulous books from the festival for you to peruse and enjoy. In this interview with the lovely Nic from Mr.B’s, we find out how it all began, from life as a lawyer to their forthcoming podcast series.

How long has Mr Bs Emporium of Delights been open? How did it all start?

We opened in 2006, so 15 years ago now. The idea began though 18 months earlier when Juliette and I were on honeymoon in Seattle and visited the Elliott Bay Book Company. We were inspired by their approach and the whole feeling of the place and, as we had already determined not to carry on careers as lawyers much longer, we hatched plans to create our own indie bookshop based around a very visible love of books and excellent customer service.

This is your first year as Bath Children’s Literature Festival bookseller, what are you most excited about the festival and why?

I am most excited about watching up the young readers of Bath and beyond being captivated by authors, and perhaps getting to meet their author heroes. There’s no greater joy in bookselling than when we get to recommend books to children, so just being around when they have the opportunity that the festival offers to hear from the people behind the books is always a fantastic experience. And this year, more than any before, that rings true as we get to play a part in the “first-events back” of so many different authors who will be chomping at the bit to reconnect with their readers.

What would be your Desert Island children’s book if you could only take one book with you?

What an impossible but brilliant question. I’ll cheat by choosing one from my own childhood and one from my time reading with my kids. From my youth I’d go with The Animals of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann – perhaps the first and only great animal road trip/environmental combo novel. Thankfully it’s still in print as well and would stand up to re-reading and give a good sense of wanderlust to counteract island life. I think the right answer from more recent times, and with one eye on this year’s festival, would be Blown Away by the brilliant Rob Biddulph, given that it contains some handy lessons on how to get off a desert island (particularly if you have some spare pants to hand).

What is the next exciting project happening at Mr Bs?

Aside from living in hope that we will have a lovely uninterrupted Autumn/Winter of shop floor bookselling and the recommencement of our own events programme, one of the things we’re really looking forward to right now is our forthcoming podcast series which is going to focus entirely on writing for children and young adults. We’ve got some stellar author interviews lined up, not to mention lots of booksellers having animated discussions about which books might just be absolutely the most exciting things they’ve ever read!


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