Much Ado fills a charming Victorian barn, part of a compound that was once a builder's yard.
You’ll find a diverting range of books:
New & vintage books by and about the Bloomsbury Group
New & old books on art, including painting, music, photography, and more
New & old books of Poetry
New & old Children’s books
Current fiction and literature
Our ‘thinking about Things’ section
Local walks and history
UK and foreign history
And more . . .
We’re a bookshop unlike any other, with a unique selection of favourite titles, secondhand books and a special selection of antiquarian treasures.
Anyone who appreciates the work and the lives of the Bloomsbury Group will find a large assortment of new and out-of-print books by and about Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and others.
But we’re also fascinated by other artists with local connections, and we stock a number of in-print books about Eric Ravilious, Edward Bawden, and Lee Miller.
Do you enjoy hunting for second-hand books and bargains? The compound includes a shepherds hut filled with second-hand and vintage books. Our Book Bower offers bargain paperbacks and hardbacks.
For collectors, our antiquarian section may offer special delights. But it is rarely open to the public - we suggest getting in touch to discuss your particular interests, so we can arrange time for you to browse.
Visitors enjoy a uniquely welcoming ambiance, with a scattering of art installations. From Keith Pettit’s outdoor sculptures and carved oak bench to Sue Blackwell’s specially-commissioned book art (on display upstairs in the shop), our compound is filled with distractions for book lovers!
Old & Antiquarian Books
The lure of older books cannot be denied; if you’re like us, the sight of old tomes is especially charming!
With an appointment, collectors can browse thousands of antiquarian books in Prospero's Project. These volumes range from delicate volumes hundreds of years old to modern fine press books; from sought-after first editions to children’s delights; from accounts of travel to exotic places to art books featuring gorgeous reproductions.
Prospero’s Project is not generally open to the public. Want to arrange a browse? Please call us on 01323 871444 to make we can make suitable arrangements.
Some - but not all! - of our books are available to browse and purchase on-line, with this search tool…
What else is in Store?
Books are our passion – but there's so much more to enjoy!
What to do when you need a stylish, fun, unique place to record your stylish, fun, unique thoughts?
Our Re-Covered Notebooks offer the perfect answer.
We make them with the covers of old books that otherwise would be bound for the tip, giving them a new lease on life with recycled paper pages held by a sturdy wire binding.
Made from the covers of old books, each one is unique. And because we choose them individually, they each offer a particular pleasure – there are nostalgic covers from half-remembered children’s classics; annuals from different years, to help celebrate a birthday or anniversary; beautifully marbled covers; gilt decorations; and, of course, fun and frivolous titles to raise a smile.
Priced from £12 and up, they range from paperback-sizes to large sketchbooks.
One-of-a-kind jotters for your lists, notes and doodles...
The Much Ado Haberdashery
We love books. But we also love crafts and making things and fabric and so much more!
So we’ve dedicated a corner of Much Ado to the pleasures of making things. The haberdashery includes both new and vintage books on crafts. But you’ll also find a gallimaufry of pleasures to explore: Packs of paper to incorporate into collage projects; yards of ribbon or lace (often wrapped on decorative book covers or illustrations); specially-presented buttons sewn lovingly onto pictures and images from books; loose buttons to buy one at a time or in batches for your sewing projects; embroidered fabric; and more.
Inspirational Bit Bags
Each packet is unique, offering a generous collection that may include… photos, vintage cards, antique maps, old prints, advertisements, illustrations, stamps, cigarette cards, decorative papers, handwritten letters, labels, pages (only from damaged books, of course) & much more!
Where does it all come from? For years we’ve hoarded paper bits from old books. We assemble each packet ourselves, including a delightful, one-of-a-kind selection in every one.
We enjoy tracking down lovely cards, and find them in all sorts of byways and corners of the art world.
The subjects are as wide-ranging as the producers. From popular artists such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden to surprising and delightful visions of the local area; from quiet, intimate scenes to exuberant celebrations; from typographical formality to lyrical displays of delightful, rhapsodic spontaneity.
There are cards embroidered by hand, with beautiful detailing. And pop-up cards to delight the most jaded spirit. Some of our cards are one-of-a-kind creations fashioned from covers of old paperbacks. The selection is constantly changing - and constantly inspiring.
So next time you’re ready to pen a note or share a thought, stop in to find a card that matches your mood. Click here for hours and directions to the shop…
Taking a little time to jot a note to a friend is one of life’s great, underrated pleasures, and it can be all the better when you find just the right image to share.
And that’s not all you’ll find around the shop. You come across our own hand-made badges; prints from old books (they’re in such poor shape that the books themselves would have to be scrapped); framed prints and autographs; and a miscellany of oddments and bits and bobs . . .
You might also come across scrapbooks we fill with old articles, reviews and images that we put out for customers to browse.