David Mitchell – Semi-retired Proprietor of the bookshop, on sabbatical to work on a number of writing projects; and Kathy Mitchell – cafe owner.
Scarthin Bookshop Staff
Currently reading: ‘Brute’ by Emily Skaja*
David first visited the shop in the early noughties as a wide-eyed, excited customer and by the end of the decade was lucky enough to be working here, initially on the weekend bank of staff in 2007 and then, since 2009, as Manager.
Why reading matters to David: I read mostly fiction….a means of discovering new and interesting ways of life and thought and of living vicariously – not because my own life is lacking but to fill it with additional adventures and experiences. And I LOVE discovering an author whose work bowls me over and then having to work my way through a back catalogue, one after the other, as with Murakami (a few years back) and Banana Yoshimoto (next).
Favourite place in the bookshop: Either the Art Room or the Front Desk. Despite being an introvert I do love interacting with customers and discussing all things BOOKS.
When not found at Scarthin: David can be found playing with his two year old son, Gabriel. He also has a love for art and, in particular, portrait photography.
His own website of images – under the name Blemished Eye – can be found HERE.
*’Brute’ is a dark and haunting collection of poems around the theme of oppression, domestic violence and, ultimately, liberation. I haven’t read a lot of poetry but I recently discovered the prose poetry (contradiction?) of Franz Wright, which is also quite disturbing but, like the works of Emily Skaja, beautifully written.
David works Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Eve has a background working in educational libraries and retail, and an education centred around art and photography. Her areas of interest include contemporary fiction, natural history and art. ‘The Passion of New Eve’ for the bookshop is obvious to see when you notice the new displays that have appeared all around the shop and she knows the inventory and exact location of (almost) every single new book we stock!
Eve works Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Les Hurst – Bookkeeper
The twice winner of MENSA Brain of Britain, works part-time at the shop and does the bookshop and cafe accounts as well as listing some of our online antiquarian and specialist titles. Areas of specialism (which are many) include crime writing and science fiction. Les’ own website can be viewed HERE.
Currently reading: ‘Beastings’ by Benjamin Myers
When she’s not touring as one third of the highly acclaimed instrumental band, Haiku Salut, Sophie is to be found working at the bookshop on Mondays, Fridays and alternative Sundays. She joined the team in May 2016, having been a serial bookshop frequenter prior to that.
Full of ideas and enthusiasm, coupled with a real eye for detail and getting things done. Sophie is also another dedicated Murakami follower (we seem to attract them!).
Why reading matters to Sophie: All of the reasons! Being able to visit places you can’t go, illuminating thoughts/feelings/opinions of others, escapism, learning new skills, recipes
Favourite place in the shop: The loft – (lesser spotted)
When not found at Scarthin: Touring with Haiku Salut, writing music, or walking the hills.
Charlotte Lunn – Bookseller, Events and Local Authors Co-Ordinator
Currently reading: ‘Conversations on Love’ by Natasha Lunn and ‘Single Window’ by Daniel Sluman.
Charlotte discovered Scarthin on a school trip when she was doing her A-levels. It was suggested to her as ‘the best bookshop in Derbyshire’, and she soon fell in love with it: though she swears it’s not just for the tea and cake! When a job became available a few years later she jumped at the chance, and has now been a key member of the team for 5 years.
She now coordinates Scarthin’s wonderful signings, readings and workshops, and liaising with and stocking our local authors.
Why reading matters to Charlotte: For poetry, it’s to connect and heal. For fiction, it’s all about escaping. Non-fiction, it’s to know more and more and more.
Favourite place in the shop: The Second hand poetry corner and the Scarthin garden in the sunshine.
When not found at Scarthin: Charlotte is a published poet, mentor and workshop facilitator. You’re likely to find her at open mics or reading Murakami and jotting down lines of poetry in the small hours of the morning.
Her debut poetry collection ‘Metamorphosis’ was published with Verve Poetry Press in May 2021. She is currently working on her second collection which explores her journey with chronic illness. You can follow her antics by looking up @charlottelunnpoet on social media.
Bev is the former Cafe Manager but now works in the bookshop. Full of ideas, creativity and a calm, quiet determination to get things done, Bev is such an asset that we can hardly believe our luck. She also works alongside David on second-hand book buying and pricing.
Currently reading: Maddaddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood
Kathy first encountered proprietor Dave, 30 years ago, and has been involved in the bookshop ever since.
Having worked in the shop, in-between raising her daughters and working as a teacher, Kathy has a comprehensive knowledge of the shop.
Kathy is owner of Scarthin Cafe, and now lists our specialist and antiquarian books online, and processes and sends out orders.
Why reading matters to Kathy: A way of self-improvement. It extends your horizons, and educates. It’s not just for escapism. When I’m reading, I want to read something meaningful, that’s direct to my life or those around me.
Favourite place in the shop: The outside cafe garden. It’s a beautiful little nook that you can tell people really enjoy spending time in. It’s our humble little retreat.
When not found at Scarthin: Kathy is most often found next door! Often tending to their wonderful garden, or walking in the village.
Currently reading: about a book a week. They read over breakfast, in lunchtimes, and whenever my six kids are busy with other stuff!
Gareth is an ex art and wilderness teacher, who has lived in Hull, Bristol, Rugby, Birmingham, Northampton, Walsall and now, lovely Cromford. They’ve been here over a year now – having dropped in the day after they lost a job in Nottingham, and accidentally chanced upon their dream job!
Gareth is our resident carpenter – a pro spoon-whittler and shelf-carer. They also write songs and play a ukulele made from a tin of sweets. They’re as wholesome as they sound.
Why reading matters to Gareth: Reading really changed my life, I left school with no GCSEs and books have given me access to everything I need. They are also a great place to escape into. My kids are starting to pick up on my passion too.
Favourite place in the shop: Anywhere I might sniff out the next life-altering volume. Visually the front desk, talking excitedly about my current or next read.
When not found at Scarthin: Gareth is most likely to be found in the garden with his kids and animals, or out walking.
Melissa Coulton – Bookseller & Café
Melissa began working in the café in October 2016. After receiving a 1st Class BA Hons in English Literature she then joined the bookshop and has been successfully juggling the two roles ever since. She is an asset to both teams and we’re very lucky to have her multitude of talents.
When not found at Scarthin: I love writing short stories, poems, plays and songs. I have a chronic addiction to stationary. I’m a committed craftivist and guerrilla gardener, (but don’t tell anyone). I express myself through the medium of (no, not dance …) collage.
Currently reading: ‘Purple Hibiscus’ by Chimamanda Ngazi Adiche – a firm favourite from Scarthin’s Book Club – come join us! every last Monday of the Month.
Why reading matters to Ella: ‘Empathy.’
Favourite place in the shop: ‘Depends on the weather! Small table in the corner of the cafe on a cold day (as with Simon!), the conservatory on a rainy day, the beautiful garden on a sunny day!
Or the arm chair in the art room – perfect for some quiet reading time or occasionally a nap! Or downstairs in fiction – that’s where I make most of my purchases!’
When not found at Scarthin: Ella is most likely to be found at one of her other jobs – she’s a talented lady and lucky to be working in multiple jobs she loves (she’s assured us Scarthin is one of them!) These include facilitating creative welllbeing workshops for Step Ball Change, and doing social action / creative facilitation / emotional education work for Transform Training.
Wai Ling – Cafe Co-Manager …. coming soon
Jill – Midweek Cook
Currently reading: ‘Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions’ by Russell Brand, as well as dipping in and out of cook books!
Jill first encountered the bookshop and cafe through her vegan daughter. She was sat having lunch and overheard that they were in need of more kitchen staff, and her daughter insisted she apply.
She’s now been here three years – Scarthin loves her as much as she loves it!
Why reading matters to you: It’s helpful for sleep, relaxation and mind expansion.
Favourite place in the shop: The Art Room and the cafe.
When not found at Scarthin: Jill likes to knit, paint and socialise.
Cafe Support Team
The cafe also has a fantastic team of hard working support staff, many of whom have been with us for several years. Estelle, Lilly and Miles are our often unsung heroes.