Yesterday my husband and I both took the day off and drove down to Bath to carry out one of my lovely 40th birthday experience presents that I was gifted.
I was going for a reading spa.
No, this is not where you go to a spa and someone paints your nails and massages your head whilst you read a book (although that would be fantastic). I was going to the beautiful independent bookshop Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights where you can go and have a personalised book shopping experience.
My reading spa was booked in with Nic – Mr B himself! We’ve been to the shop many times before and my husband has always raved about the reading spas so I knew what to expect.
First you check in at the desk and then a member of staff takes you upstairs and gets you settled in one of the comfy seating areas. I was then brought a perfect cup of tea (or coffee if you prefer) and a generous slab of a truly delicious chocolate brownie from the Colombian cafe around the corner. Seriously, one of the best brownies I’ve ever eaten and I know my brownies.
Then as I nursed my tea we talked about the books I’ve loved (and didn’t!), about my interests and he just generally gauged what I might like to read. Then off he went, leaving me with my brownie and came back with a stack of books (he did this twice). He introduced each of them but not in a I-just-read-the-blurb way. He’d clearly read everything he recommended and he also told lovely stories about the authors, some of which he’d met. We had a great chat and a good laugh and I really did struggle at the end when it came to deciding what I was going to take home. I ended up with a real mixture including a hardback signed by the author which was a nice touch (Educated by Tara Westover). I won’t list them here but will review any that stand out as I read them. The staff will make a list of any that you’re interested in but choose not to buy on the day which is also super helpful.
The lovely thing about Mr B’s is that it really is a bespoke experience. All the staff are passionate about books and really know their stuff and depending on your interests they will always try and pair you with an employee who shares it.
The reading spa comes with a gift voucher (which I had no trouble spending), a Mr B’s mug, book bag, book mark and a £5 gift voucher to spend on your return.
If you can’t get to Bath but like the idea of the book spa they do offer a personalised book subscription! You’d just need to supply your own tea and cake.
They will handpick a book especially for you and have it delivered to your door every month. You can choose how long you’d like to do it for and whether you’d prefer paperbacks or hardbacks. You can read all about it here.
After we (reluctantly) left the shop we grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading home.
On the walk back to the car I spotted another pretty little shop!
Bath is clearly my kind of town.