Category Archives: books

From the Farmers Market to browsing books


The Farmers Market was on the Market Place in Abingdon today.

It was my first time inside both independent bookshops since the reopening. The Book store is in Bury Street precinct.

Two shops have closed in Bury Street during the shutdown. The Gift Centre has closed – probably deciding not to renew a lengthy lease. Also Peacocks went into administration and is now closed.  200 of the 400 Peacock stores will be re-opening as the chain have been brought out out administration. I don’t know about the Abingdon shop.

Mostly Books were also open. On display there is Trinity by Frank Close. Trinity was the code name for exploding the test atomic bomb in 1945. This well researched story is about Klaus Fuchs, a communist sympathiser, who passed atomic secrets to the Soviets during the race for development of the nuclear bomb. The book has both spying and science.

The library is also open and there I saw another book by Frank Close called Neutrino. Frank Close is a nuclear physicist who lives in Abingdon and often helps at the ATOM Science festival

Fifty Six Names

Fifty Six Names
Steve King says that after many hours of research his book has been published. It comprises twelve chapters telling the circumstance of how the 56 men named on Abingdon’s war memorial for WW2 met their untimely end.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, copies will be late in the stores. Mostly Books, Abingdon do have some copies in stock available to deliver. It is also available on Kindle.
Fifty Six Names
Steve also found out about the men buried in Commonwealth War Graves in Abingdon cemeteries who are not mentioned on the memorial. He also found out about two Abingdon heroes who survived the war and the seven Abingdon heroes who died at Dunkirk.

The early May bank holiday in 2020 will move from Monday 4th May to Friday 8th May to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day which takes place on 8th May. That move was made to enable people to pay tribute before Covid-19 became such a threat. Any celebrations are likely to be scaled back, cancelled, or postponed to protect veterans and others.

Roundup of World Book Day in Abingdon

World Book Day
At Mostly Books, in Stert Street, there was a book reading, and children had dressed up for the event.
World Book Day
At the Bookstore, in Bury Street, children from different years at Thameside School have been coming every day of the week to exchange their World Book Day vouchers, either: for a book from the special display, or they could use it towards another book.
World Book Day
One book in the shop was created with the help of children from Thameside School, Abingdon.

Children worked with artist Korky Paul to make bug pictures for the start and end leafs of his new book ‘Winnie the Witch – Bug Safari’.
World Book Day
Pictures by 28 children are featured in the book.
World Book Day
Next door, W H Smith had 3 for 2 on lots of children’s books for World Book Day.
World Book Day
Abingdon Library are currently running a reader’s challenge, called Bloomin’ Good Books.

Readers of any age are invited to fill in and return a postcard, about a favourite book, to be entered for the prize draw. You can write an account of the book and why you like it. That might inspire somebody else to read that book and reading will grow.
World Book Day
There are six (soon to be seven) charity shops in the town centre that sell second hand books.

The British Heart Foundation had a window display for World Book Day. On the top shelf is fiction, next down is children’s books, next down is adult fiction, and bottom is media. The display changes as people often ask to buy what is in the window.
World Book Day
Abingdon County Museum also sell books – all of them about Abingdon.

Poundland also sells books, as does Waitrose.

So by my reckoning there are twelve shops that sell books in Abingdon Town Centre this World Book Day.

Children’s Book Corner

Children's Book Corner
I have started seeing children’s books, left outside, in Abingdon. They are left in clear bags with a note from the person who donated them. In the last 24 hours I have seen three such books.
Children's Book Corner
The note says You have found a book. You can either read me, leave me, or take me home.

This is the initiative of the Look for a book Oxfordshire Facebook Group. The group began on Saturday 10th August 2019.

Read it Daddy, a fellow Abingdon blogger, has been blogging for over 9 years at https://readitdaddy.blogspot.com/. His speciality is reviewing children’s books, sometimes more than one a day. He will know most of these found books.
Children's Book Corner
On 22nd July Read it Daddy reviewed a book by an Abingdon author – Nicki Thornton.
Children's Book Corner
Nicki used to be the co-owner of Mostly Books. Looking at the window at Mostly Books I see they have lots of children’s books including some about Starting School.Children's Book Corner
Meanwhile at The Bookstore in Abingdon there are a lot of children’s books in the corner window. They even have one that I recognise – Starting School By Janet Ahlberg and Allan Ahlberg.