Mostly Books

Location: Stert Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire
Services: Bookseller
What I bought: The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg

I am easily charmed by book shops, they are my ‘happy place’. On more than one occasion I have sought solace from the busy streets of London by entering the doors of the nearest Waterstones for a five-minute respite and a quiet stroll among the spines. In Oxford, we also have Blackwells, and until 2009 the sadly defunct Borders where I spent a lot of time while studying my masters.

Being a small-town girl, and now a sole-trader, I strive to support local independents as much as I can. I don’t hate large chain bookstores by any means, but I know how hard it is to be successful on the high street when you are a small independent facing soaring rates. I try to make purchasing decisions that will support a wider range of independent sellers in my area, and am lucky to have two independent book shops in my town.

Mostly Books is located on the one-way system of Stert Street, Abingdon. Sarah, the owner for the last three years, has made a fantastic use of the space which is filled with a wide range of books and complementary gift ideas. Walking through the door, which has a traditional tinkling bell attached to it, you are met by tables full of the latest releases. For a small shop, it is bustling with author specials, panels, readings and book club events. There are also monthly discounts available on selected titles and subscription services.

Mostly Books arrived in our small town over a decade ago, and has firmly put itself on the map. Not only was it a regional finalist for Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards 2018 and 2019, but it regularly pulls in household names of touring authors. In 2019 Ruby Wax and Robert Harris, both sold out the town’s 440 seat Amey Theatre with their respective new books How To Be Human, and The Second Sleep.

It’s very easy to make a few clicks and buy a book online from a global retailer such as Amazon. However, independents are fantastic fonts of knowledge and can order in books just as quickly, arriving in store the next working day. Please consider sending business in the direction of your local bookseller, to keep the book trade and the high street healthy.

You can follow Mostly Books on Twitter (@MostlyReading) and Instagram (mostlybooks_shop) or better still, visit them at 36 Stert Street, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX14 3JP.