When Kathryn and Reg Fairs recently moved their two book shops into one building in the Broadway, a Woodhall Spa resident commented on how welcome it was to have a bookshop in the village at last. An illustration of the location-location-location principle, as the The Book Fayre has been serving our community from three other premises, all only a stroll away, since 2005.
Now on the spacious ground floor of Matthew Templeton House in the Broadway, both businesses continue to thrive following the recent hectic move into the village centre.
The new shop combines Kath’s new book and Reg’s secondhand book businesses, until recently located in Tattershall Road and the Melrose Arcade respectively. Quite simply, this move represents the realisation of their dream. In Kath’s words, there is more of a buzz now, and the new shop opens up some exciting new opportunities too.
Kath is a self confessed bookworm, (I suspect from her childhood days in Llanelli,) and workaholic, but this is no hobby business. Rather it’s the product of good humoured determination, a passion for books, and business acumen, all brought to bear from 2005 when the original bookshop opened up in Witham Road, through the move to Tattershall Road in 2009, and right up to the present.
Having Reg’s secondhand book operation “Final Chapter Books” in the same premises has also to be a smart move. The couple have been in the book business long enough to have learned that there are new book customers, secondhand book lovers and many who like both.
As well as managing the shop, Kath also runs a local reading group and she hopes to get a group for children going. She is thinking about organizing workshops too.
When former RAF fighter pilot Reg is not following his long time interest in antiquarian books, he is quite likely to be instructing at RAF Coningsby. Also on the strength now are Sue, Jenna, Ellie and Joe.
But there’s more. Behind the new stylish frontage you’ll also find coffee, tea, light bites and gifts for sale, all popular add-on attractions transferred from the previous operation. However, Kath is keen to point out that her priority is the book business and she does not want this to become just another coffee shop.
The combined buying, “just browsing” and chat-and-coffee experience already proved to be a winner in Tattershall Road, but now it’s all so much easier. This is a total experience hard to achieve (so far!) on your e-book reader, provided with passion and humour by a woman who regards her job as a privilege.
Following other recent announcements, it’s also another great example of business growth in Woodhall Spa!