Kenilworth bookshop celebrating 50th birthday

Judy Brook, the current owner of Kenilworth Books
Judy Brook, the current owner of Kenilworth Books

A Kenilworth bookshop will be celebrating 50 years in the town next week - and is inviting customers to join in.

Kenilworth Books in Talisman square will be holding an all-day party on Monday May 21 complete with bubbly and cake for customers to enjoy.

Although Kenilworth Books in its current form has not been in the town for a very long time, its history as an independent bookshop can be traced back 50 years.

The owner of Kenilworth Books Judy Brook, who started running the shop in 2014, said: “The community is the most important thing for the bookshop.

“So it’s fantastic that the bookshop has been at the heart of the community for the last 50 years.

“You get people coming into the shop who remember it when they were children.”

The first version of the bookshop, The Chapter House Bookshop, was opened 50 years ago by Norman Stevens, a member of the Kenilworth History and Archaeology Society, at its first site in Priory Road.

Norman said: “It was very hard work at first - we were doing it very tentatively because we were worried about the amount of money it was costing. It was a while before we got going.”

His break came when the shop began selling sold the first Kenilworth history book by local historian John Drew.

The shop later moved to its Talisman site in 1970, and Norman continued running the business until 1977 when problems with inflation of prices in the books trade forced him to move on.

The shop was known as Peter’s Books until 1997, Browsers until 2009, and it became Kenilworth Books soon after that.

Judy decided to buy the shop in 2014 when its previous owners retired.

She said it was a great achievement for the shop to have kept going for 50 years.

Judy added: “Although the high street isn’t doing well across the UK, that idea of going shopping and having an experience is what us independent shops are doing.”