Welcome to the Read. Holmfirth family bookshop! It has been our dream for a very long time to own our own bookshop and so, after a spur of the moment decision to view some retail units at the end of October 2018, here we are! We feel incredibly lucky to live and work in such a vibrant and friendly town and more than anything, we want our bookshop to be a central part of the community; from working with schools and young people, to hosting a wide range of events, book clubs and writing clubs.
We want our shop to be welcoming, friendly and somewhere that you feel comfortable to come and spend time away from the stresses of everyday life. Children are very welcome in our shop and we promise not to growl at them for touching the books! We have three young children of our own, who you will see in the shop from time to time, and we know how much we value bookshops which cater for and are welcoming to children. We have toys, games and of course lots of books in our dedicated children’s room so that hopefully you might be able to have a few minutes to yourself to browse the shelves.
The Read. Family includes a wonderful team of staff who are incredibly knowledgeable about a ridiculously wide range of books! There is very little between us that we don’t know; we can give you the space and time to browse or we can help you choose your next title, you decide. We have several very comfortable armchairs for you to sit in whilst you admire the beauty (and that lovely new smell!) of the books on our shelves.
We carefully choose books in all categories and genres to enrich the lives of our customers, from award-winning literary fiction, to graphic novels and film titles to a selection of books about the natural world, biographies and even books or maps for the many cyclists which pass through Holmfirth. If you don’t find what you are looking for on our shelves, we can order it for next day delivery to the shop.
From the moment we started telling people that we were opening a bookshop, we have had nothing but support from the lovely people of Holmfirth and beyond. We hope you like what we’ve created and we can’t wait for you to visit us.
Meet the family
James reads everything and anything, and loves it when a random recommendation leads to the discovery of a brand new favourite author. Through membership of a book group, he has driven a taxi round Edinburgh, fought the Japanese in Burma, sold hot dogs in New Orleans, trudged across post-apocalyptic America, gone through puberty in the 80s, and delivered babies in a maternity ward, all lives lived through the magic of reading. He can usually be found slurping tea and doing a crossword, and agonising over what to read next. He LOVES David Mitchell and Sarah Waters, John Le Carre and William Shakespeare, Margaret Atwood and Elizabeth Strout, Julian Barnes and Jonathan Coe. Bedtime stories with his three children are golden times…especially when one of them chooses Tintin or Funny Bones or The Secret Seven. He takes a book just about everywhere because you never know!
Louise reads on the go, in the car, stood up, sat down, or in a queue – in fact, if she sees a queue she’ll join it just to get a bit of reading in! Her three children run to her with books, which makes her heart sing. She ADORES Young Adult fiction by the likes of Lisa Thompson and Adam Baron, Annabel Pitcher and David Walliams, Emma Carroll and Catherine Doyle. When she isn’t reading, she’s writing huge lists on beautiful stationery, performing magic with maths, and painting pebbles to hide around Holmfirth. When it comes to cake, only chocolate will do, thank you. She runs weekly story time for parents and their children so that “Hop little bunnies, hop, hop, hop” is YOUR earworm as well as hers! The children’s, 9-12 and YA sections of the shop are her pride and joy.
Honor loves anything where the main character is a fairy, a unicorn, or better still, a fairy unicorn. Aged 5, she has recently discovered the wonder of reading in your head, and can often be found sitting up in bed past lights out reading…about fairy unicorns! She loves Rainbows (and indeed rainbows!), sweets, getting muddy in the outdoors, crafts and Netflix, and is very, very excited that her family have a bookshop.
Arthur spends ages poring over his non-fiction collection, and can tell you all sorts of random facts about the Titanic, dinosaurs, sharks, The Great Fire of London, lighthouses, pirates and mountains. He also loves Horrid Henry, but is taking far too much inspiration from the character for his parents’ liking! He is the funniest boy in Holmfirth, if not the whole of West Yorkshire, has terrible taste in cartoons, and can be mostly found surrounded by mountains of Lego.
Evie adores books about animals, fairies and horses, her greatest love of all. She will only consider a book up to her standards if the main characters are animals, but has made an exception for Each Peach Pear Plum, a book she has read one million times. Her lungs are enormous, a Darwinian necessity when you’re the third child in an already raucous house, and expresses her will freely and with gusto. Sometimes in the shop, too… She loves life and lives it triumphantly!
Maddie is a self-confessed bookworm and you can almost always find her inching her way through her next read! Whatever it is she’s reading, it may stay firmly glued under her arm for weeks on end, and neither airline baggage allowances or “you won’t read all those in a week!”s have yet been able to unstick it, try as they might (Jane Eyre has been known to even have her own sun lounger on occasion). If she isn’t reading, she’ll be making her next film, writing a short story or animating some show tune – because stories are only any good when shared!
Jim grew up in Holmfirth and has loved books since reading Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger in infant school. Over the years his favourite books have included The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Big Sleep, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Catch 22, The Siege of Krishnapur, Pride and Prejudice and Anna Karenina. One of the worst parts of growing up is realising there are many, many more good books than there are hours to read them, but he is doing his best. He also writes books for Children: Baby’s First Bank Heist was published by Bloomsbury in 2018.
Catherine generally loves to read anything crime/thriller related and her favourite authors include Peter May, Clare Mackintosh, Ragnar Jonasson, Jo Nesbo and Ann Cleeve, although she is equally at home with a Jodi Picoult or Kate Morton book. Catherine always has a book on the go and the delight in finishing one book is second only to choosing the next and the appropriate bookmark, from her vast collection, to go with it.
In those rare times when Catherine is not reading she can be found making her own greeting cards, practicing the very difficult art of calligraphy or pouring over a jigsaw!
Catherine’s Dad used to say ‘you are never alone when you are reading a book’ – how right he was!
Clare will read anything that takes her to a different time or place, which doesn’t narrow it down much, and adds so much to her reading list from recommendations that it could be classed as a hobby in its own right. The absolute best bit of any book is that very specific moment where it tips over from being possible to put the bookmark in to absolutely can’t put this down until its finished! Favourites include Ready Player One, The Night Circus, Station Eleven and anything by Terry Pratchett. She loved the Hobbit so much her first dog was called Bilbo, and she loves Snoopy so much her current one is called Lucy. When not reading, walking or playing with her children, Clare can be found asleep in the corner! She may also occasionally sing and apologises profusely in advance.
Reference books are a large part of Karen’s extensive collection of books – the tools of her trade as a mountain and wildlife guide – but she also enjoys reading fiction in several different languages. Her love of ‘L’etranger’ (The Stranger), by Albert Camus, led her to proclaiming herself an Existentialist whilst at University and to wearing a beret for most of her first year. One of Karen’s favourite novels, ‘La Coscienza di Zeno’ (Zeno’s Conscience), by Italo Svevo, inspired an interest in psychology. Karen likes to read as a retreat from a very busy life.
Ruth is an avid reader, she’s particularly fond of beat literature from the 60’s, poetry, feminist literature and novels where not much actually happens. Before working in Read she taught in China and Barnsley, made and sold juggling balls on Dam Square in Amsterdam, and spent many years working in Universities.
When not buried in books she grows flowers by the armload, irons teatowels and daydreams about living on her own island. She’s currently renovating a horse-drawn caravan and admiring her resident peacock. Her current favourite word is ‘retronym’.”