Project aim

To raise 50% of the cost of essential building work to secure the structure of the premises (four steel posts on the ground floor) in order to support the ever-growing weight of stock (currently approximately 100,000 books across thirteen rooms on three floors) at Scarthin Books of Cromford, which was named as the ‘6th Best Bookshop in the World’ by the Guardian Online (2008).

About Scarthin Books  |  What’s the money for?  |  Why ask for crowdfunding?  |  Your ‘Reward’


About Scarthin Books

The video and photo montage above give a great overview of the bookshop. Our ethos (one of our taglines is “a bookshop for the majority of minorities”) is very much about being at the heart of our village community (another tagline is “a homely refuge and social hub”) and we regularly host events from book-signings to story-telling events to meditation groups. Last year (2014) we celebrated our 40th Anniversary.

Something of a Derbyshire – or even national – institution, Scarthin Books has frequently featured in many of the ‘Top Bookshops’ lists that appear in the national and international media, and was listed by the Guardian Online as the ‘sixth best bookshop in the world’. We have also been featured as a location in several TV and film productions, most notably ‘And When Did You last See Your Father‘, starring Colin Firth.

Our vegetarian/vegan cafe serves a wonderful selection of lunches, both hot and cold, and our delicious cakes are hard to resist. With a large selection of teas, coffee or cold drinks, it’s a perfect way to take a rest from browsing…and we even have a small garden you can sit in should the weather permit!

During our forty years of trading the bookshop has expanded from a room below a family home to its current position of housing 100,000 books within 13 rooms, equating to over ONE MILE OF SHELVING (the proprieter and his family now live in a house behind the shop).

What’s the money for?

Scarthin Books proprietor, Dave Mitchell, nearly became a civil engineer instead of a bookseller and has used his half-baked expertise to help hold up the bookshop’s 1000 feet of laden shelves with strategically placed “Acrow props” cunningly hidden behind the books. These “temporary” builders’ supports have done the job with neither creak nor groan for the past 40 years but a properly-qualified structural engineering has now advised that something more professional is needed for the next 40 years. The work he has specified involves installing four bespoke steel-tube columns resting on concrete foundations beneath the wooden shop floor.

The shop and the cafe can stay open during the work, but most of the ground floor will be out of bounds for three or four weeks. The total cost of the work is expected to reach £4000 and another £1000 (at least) is likely to be lost because of restricted access to the stock. Work will begin ASAP.

Why ask for crowdfunding?

The shop is struggling to generate the extra funds needed for this capital improvement and even if we were able to secure a small business loan, the small margins within which we operate would make it very difficult to afford. Any small profit we do make year after year gets re-invested into the shop and its vegetarian cafe as we continue to strive to offer the ‘compleat bookshop experience’ and an unsurpassed level of customer service. We’re turning, instead, to our loyal customers and long-distance supporters in the hope that they may be able to help raise at least 50% of the cost of this urgent project. Should we receive more than our target of £2000 then we’d be able to fund the building work without the added pressure of having to cover the cost of the difference. In the event that we should raise MORE than the cost of the structural work outlined here, then other much-needed house-keeping projects could be undertaken, from paintwork to roof repairs!

Your ‘Reward’

Everyone that invests has the option to receive the following rewards:

  • your name will be added to one of the support posts that your generosity has helped to erect (unless you’d prefer it not to, of course!)
  • all pledgers will receive a personal thank you on a dedicated page for this project on our website
  • pledges for £20 and over will receive a generous Scarthin Gift Voucher of up to 50% of the value of your payment, redeemable in the bookshop or cafe, and a ‘Thank You’ Pack (see individual plege amounts for details)
  • Should anyone be generous enought to pledge £250 (or more), then they’d receive all of the above PLUS a personal invite to visit the bookshop for a tour and lunch for up to five people in our delightful vegetarian cafe

Some of our customer, however, have asked for the option to pledge an amount of their choosing but WITHOUT wanting to receive a ‘reward’. If this is your preference, then please choose the last of our options on the right, ‘Pledge £10 or More (£10-£1000), WITHOUT REWARDS’

A little more about Scarthin Books…

Each year, we help organise three popular village events;

  • Celebrating Cromford (June) – a festival of music, events, stalls and local crafts throughout the village and on the Promenade in front of the bookshop plus Cromford Open Gardens
  • Apple Day (October) – a chance for windfalls to be turned into apple juice, with music and stalls on the Promenade in front of the bookshop
  • Christmas Fair (December) – local craft stalls and music on the Promenade in front of the bookshop
  • We often celebrate April Fool’s Day, St George’s Day and a village vegetable Show is planned for this year

We host a number of regular events at the bookshop, including the following:

  • Author events and booksignings
  • Cafe Philosophique discussion events
  • Conversation Cafe meetings (daytime)
  • Bob Dylan appreciation society meetings
  • Buddhist meditation sessions
  • World Book Day story-telling sessions
  • Book Club meetings
  • Men’s Group Meetings

(to name just some of the sessions that take place at the bookshop)

We also have great links with local schools, local authorities and local authors