a homely refuge and social hub
Nestled (or hidden), as we are, equidistant between Matlock Bath and Wirksworth – and even within the tiny village of Cromford itself, we’re somewhat tucked away, overlooking the pond – we’re not necessarily the kind of bookshop that you just happen to stumble upon. We’re more of a ‘destination bookshop’; one that you decide to seek out, to deliberately pay a visit to and we do our utmost to show our appreciation for your efforts by attempting to give you the compleat bookshop experience. This shouldn’t just be another retail experience, where you pop somewhere to pick up a necessity, but rather somewhere you come to savour, to escape to – to enjoy.
We’re not perfect, far from it. When books are coming through our doors at an alarming rate (which is often), we can be more than a little untidy, and finding what you’re after can sometimes feel like something of a quest, but we try our very best. And we want you to feel relaxed, to be a part of what Dave Mitchell, our proprietor, described as “a sort of museum that visitors are allowed to buy a little piece of”.
You’ll never feel pressured to have to buy something (though of course it’s always welcomed if you do) by pushy staff. I hope you’ll always get a warm welcome and we’re always bursting with advice and recommendations should you choose to seek it. But if you’d rather curl up quietly in an armchair somewhere (the Art Room is a particular favourite of many regulars) with a book or two to look through, then please do just that. Or perhaps you’re here to meet friends and have a natter over a cuppa and a slice of cake in our wonderful vegetarian cafe – what could be nicer?
There are always events planned – author signings, interest group meetings, discussion groups, etc – and you can find out more by viewing our ‘What’s On’ board on the ground floor or by checking this website or our social media pages. This is an area we hope to expand on further over the coming months and years as Nikki, our newly appointed ‘Events Co-ordinator’, looks to improve and diversify the range and frequency of activities we currently offer.
Over the forty-plus years we’ve now been trading we’ve built up an incredibly loyal customer base and it’s often recommendations from frequent visitors that brings in the new. Last year’s Crowd Funding campaign to raise money for urgent building work was an incredible – and deeply humbling – reminder of how well loved Scarthin Books has become and we’re deeply appreciative of the continued support our customers give, especially in a troubled climate for retail, and for bookshops in particular. However, we continue to thrive and this past year (March 2015-March 2016) has seen the sharpest rise in takings for many, MANY years and we plan to be a fixture of Cromford and a destination for book lovers for at least another forty-plus years.
Customer testimonials, gathered from emails, online and from our Visitors Book
I’ve never felt drawn to write a letter like this before but your shop has given me so much pleasure that I felt that you deserve to hear such praise. We’re always so quick to complain but never give credit where it’s due do we? Well, we came to your shop with my son and our grandchildren a few Saturdays ago now and what a treat our day out was. When we arrived recently it was like stepping back into a time that we thought no longer existed, in so much as from the very moment we stepped into the shop it was like we were welcomed into a magical wonderland where everyone there was having the time of their lives. Our grandchildren could have spent all day in the delightful children’s room and my husband in the art room and the way everything seems so much better organised now meant it was a shear delight to browse. I think we bought everything from your gifts room enough to keep us stocked in Christmas presents for years to come. We had our lunch in the cafe as we always do and the staff you have in there were just as delightful! Thank you for your kind hospitality and thank you for running such a truly wonderful, wonderful shop that is clearly experiencing its heyday. Mr & Mrs Roper (Derby), by email, 2015