Much Ado improvements
If you’re a regular customer, it may strike you on your next visit that our ground floor seems particularly full, while upstairs is no longer open for browsing.
And maybe you'll wonder why.
Largely, the change was inspired by a combination of our accountant and a recent survey.
Our accountant helped us work out how much we earned from different areas of the shop. It turns out that upstairs was not really pulling its weight.
The survey told us that our most regular customers loved many aspects of the shop, such as our careful selection of new books. It also suggested that our regulars want us to offer more workshops and book group discussions. And that they want to enjoy these in the shop, rather than in our barn.
So we have improved the shop in some exciting ways:
- More new books, displayed on one floor
- More greetings cards, displayed in a newly renovated room of their own
- Special events, classes and discussion groups hosted in our new first-floor space – we think of it as Upstairs at Much Ado (see where we’re going with that?)
- An extraordinary new group, Friends of Much Ado – join it, and you’ll enjoy benefits ranging from a fabulous discount to a special space set aside for you to browse, chat and discover wonderful new books.
We've tried to make Much Ado into a book-lovers' haven, and hope we've succeeded. Come see for yourself!
Much Ado named one of the best Independent Shops in UK!
The Guardian - an unimpeachable source, surely? – caused us to blush on Saturday 8 December, by naming Much Ado one of the best indpendent shops in the country.
See what they had to say - and learn about the other fabulous shops on their list – by clicking here.
Mapping Much Ado
See our new Much Ado Maps - a guide to what's where in Much Ado! Click here . . .
Much Ado Now . . .
Much Ado Books is an award-winning independent bookshop situated in Alfriston, East Sussex.
Named Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2007, just three years after opening, we continue to offer excellent service as well as a tempting choice of books.
We specialize in books by and about the Bloomsbury Group of artists and authors, which included Virginia Woolf, Duncan Grant and Maynard Keynes among its members; Charleston, the group’s East Sussex home, is just a few miles away.
We also sell our very own Re-Covered Notebooks – one-of-a-kind jotters fashioned from the covers of old books that otherwise would go to the tip – click here for more about these delightful wire-bound notebooks!
Our shop is located in the heart of the Cuckmere Valley, convenient to Eastbourne, Lewes and Brighon. Click here for hours and directions
& Much Ado Then
Much Ado’s roots are in a colonial seafront town just north of Boston, Massachusetts. Marblehead, self-proclaimed Yachting Capital of the World, was our home for more than 20 wonderful years.
But we crossed the Atlantic almost nine years ago to open a new Much Ado in a Medieval English village.
And now we’ve moved our shop from a marvellous warren of steps and levels to a fantastic new home in the same village.
The former builder’s yard features our two-floor shop, a large yard (for our trio of chickens to scratch around in) and a barn that houses our antiquarian books, our printing presses, our offices and space for workshops and events.
Now, almost a year later, it is hard to remember what the buildings were like when we bought the yard. The contractor needed several months to complete the mass of work – the abiding memory is a kind of collage of loud banging, roaring saws, thick dust and numerous steel beams being inserted into impossibly small spaces.
The barn, which was little more than a shell, needed even more help. The roof tiles came off, and eventually went back on painstakingly to preserve the age marks that help give the building such distinctive character. Period windows were recreated; dangerously steep stairs made way for reasonable steps; insulation lined the walls.
Now, Much Ado is a book-filled oasis, with comfy chairs and an entrancing hodge-podge of bookcases.
And three slightly pampered chickens scratching in the yard.
We’ve come a long way!