In search of a good book, Dorothy discovers the Owl and Pyramid bookshop in Seaton.
I went to see the new children’s bookshop which has opened in Seaton. Now, I don’t normally go to Seaton so I had no idea what it was like. When I went I found it was friendly, cheerful and quiet, three crucial things in a good bookshop. It had some extremely good books; some of which I already had. I was even persuaded to buy one!
I interviewed the owner (Jennifer Eagles, or Jenny, as she prefers to be called) who was very chatty so I had to cut some of what she said. Here we go:
What is your history?
I was a teacher in Leicester and when I moved down here (Seaton) I decided to open a bookshop, I thought moving was a good time. So, with all the things I knew about how children learn and what they like to read, as well as my own interest in books, I thought I had it in the bag.
Do you just have books?
No. I wanted to open a book shop that had some educational toys as well, so I started off small with a couple of different things and as time goes on I might get some other things as well, like construction and science kits for older children, and bits of stationery.
What do you like most about running it?
Meeting the customers.
What is your favourite book in here?
In here, it’s probably To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve got that in the classics. But I also like a lot of the new picture books that are out, like there’s this really good book for younger children called Blown Away, which has just won a prize for fiction.
Can you order books from here?
Yes. If you really want a book and you can’t find it, I can order it for you and it nearly always comes in the next day.
I like all the puppets, why do you have them?
I chose to have puppets because when I was working as a teacher I used to use puppets a lot, to get children to be imaginative and I also like them because very shy children often take on the character, often more than they can with a different type of toy.
I’ve only got hand, finger and long sleeve puppets at the moment but I’m thinking about getting marionettes.
What sort of books sell the most?
Good question. Title or type? In terms of type it’s picture books for younger children and activity and colouring books, although some of my best sales are grown ups’ colouring books as it’s such a big craze at the moment.
My biggest selling small children’s book is WOW said the Owl and it’s about learning about colours. People love it because the pictures are great. It’s really nice, it’s quite sturdy, and this little owl makes herself stay awake all day… I just love it.
What would you be if you weren’t a book shop owner?
If I was still in Leicester I might still be a teacher. But I always had this dream of running a book shop and I thought that moving town was a good time to do it.
How did you come up with the name of the shop?
Gosh! I don’t really know. Well, I do know. When it came to me I was just doodling in this diary I had with some owls on it. I like owls. I also like things that don’t go together, so I thought Owl and – the first thing that came into my head was Pyramid. But it works because owls are wise – that’s like the learning bit – and pyramids are mysterious and full of hidden treasure – like the books.
Conclusion: this book shop is well worth visiting if you have the time.
In Jenny’s own words: “children have never had it so good!”
So long live our books!
Owl and Pyramid is in Fore Street, Seaton.