The Bookshop Q&A: P&G Wells

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P&G Wells

Name
P&G Wells Ltd, Booksellers

Location
College Street, Winchester

How long have you been open?
About 250 years. We claim to be the oldest bookshop in Britain.

What sort of books do you sell?
For adults, a wide range of non-fiction and modern classics to back up all the newly-issued titles we take. Upstairs, our showroom offers probably the largest selection of children’s books in southern England.

Describe a typical customer.
We try to cater for the whole family. We have reading books for little children, and supporting texts to help students who want to read around their subjects. In addition, we offer a wide range of books that might make good gifts for uncles, nephews, grandfathers, and mothers-in-law.

How did you get into bookselling?
I liked the product so much I bought the shop.

What is your favourite book in the shop?
It’s a Book by Lane Smith.

How important is it for you to be involved in the local community?
Very. We try to be present at every talk, reading, launch and festival in the vicinity; if necessary, by organising our own. In addition we attract people to the premises by hosting storytimes for babies, creative writing for children and book clubs for adults.

What are you looking forward to in 2011?
Transparent pricing from the publishers to Amazon; and from Amazon to the market.

Why should people come to your bookshop?
To browse.

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