Goosegate's hidden gem. Image: David Parry
At 10 Goosegate in Hockley, at the back of Classical CDs, Nottingham has its very own hidden gem. Bookwise Nottingham inhabits the back room, and what a delight it is. The bookshop has been open about a year but on the weekend of 15th September, the shop is hosting its official ‘cutting of the ribbon' ceremony.
Walking into the bookshop, it was everything I’d like my own shelves to be if I lived in a stately home and not university halls. Flicking through the coloured spines of the well loved books you will find a host of familiar titles, and some wonderfully new ones. The bookshop has an extensive classics section, with everything from Jane Eyre to Gulliver’s Travels, an impressive range of non-fiction subjects, and some more unusual books. It is refreshing to see a charity bookshop not feel jumbled and cluttered, but instead inviting and intriguing. The shop is also a great place to pick up an unusual gift for a music lover, or card for any occasion.
Angela Kay, Artistic Director of the charity commented on how she hoped the opening would increase the bookshop’s presence in Nottingham, encouraging people to come in and have a look. The range of non-fiction subjects, such as economics and modern foreign languages also makes the bookshop a winner for students looking for information on their specialist fields, with many nearly-new books from just £1, the bookshop has something to suit every budget.
Not just a brilliant bookshop in itself though, Bookwise is a supporter of local charity Music for Everyone. The charity works across the community, involving children and adults alike with a range of innovative projects. One such project is Daytime Voices – a choir set up for people with a love of singing across the Nottingham area. The choir has a ‘no-auditions’ policy, so anyone can join, singing a variety of music, including jazz, pop and classical. The organisation also works extensively to support young people in the area, running the East Midlands Youth String Orchestra, Nottingham Youth Band, Nottingham Girls’ and Boys’ Voices, and Stringwise! Youth String weekends in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University to name but a few.
A recent grant from Arts Council England means that the charity now strives to expand its outreach by creating further partnerships with organisations: something that will ensure that the charity creates thriving projects for years to come. Of course, the bookshop itself is something that creates valuable funds for Music for Everyone.
If you would like to take it one step further and get involved with the bookshop, it couldn’t be easier. For a start, pop into the bookshop and buy a book: funds help the charity to increase the range of activities and projects it runs. There are other ways you can help though, if that doesn’t tickle your fancy. The shop is looking for a team of about 30 volunteers to help run it, and whether volunteers can give up an afternoon once a week or once a month, everything helps. Bookwise also accepts donations of books and sheet music, and can arrange pick ups if necessary.
Bookwise Nottingham is open Monday – Saturday, 10am – 6pm.