Black Pug Books

‘I’ve wanted to have this sort of bookshop for 20 years,’ Victoria Sturgess confided when I visited her at Black Pug Books in Wimborne last week . ‘I’d always wanted a place with a homely, friendly atmosphere’. She offered me a cup of tea and I settled into an exceptionally comfortable sofa and gazed around, admiring her fabulous wall-to-wall collection of out-of-print books. ‘I want people to come and enjoy the books,’ she said. I could have stayed all day.

I love books and although I do read on screen, agree with Victoria that this is a different experience from feeling a good quality book in your hand, reading the printed page, smelling the paper and ink.

Black Pug Books opened in October this year at The Old Gallery, 24 West Borough, Wimborne, BH21 1NF. It offers out-of-print books on all subjects. Opening times are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am-6pm. Victoria may open out of hours to visitors by special request.

People mainly come by word of mouth recommendation and the business is already thriving.

Unsurprisingly, Victoria set up the bookshop because of her ‘sheer love of books’. She is especially drawn to those illustrated with woodcuts, also fiction and non-fiction about World War One. So when these volumes turn up they may not always find their way onto the ‘for sale’ shelves!

Victoria will also search for particular books for clients.

I recommend a visit to Black Pug Books but allow time for this as it may be difficult to drag yourself away!

Story Traders

I had a great time last week leading a poetry workshop for Story Traders in Bridport. I enjoyed meeting this lovely group of dedicated and interesting writers. I brought a bag of mystery objects – no, not just the contents of my handbag! – and we used them for inspiration and to get started with writing something new.

We met in a very nice room at the Beach and Barnicott restaurant opposite the Arts Centre in Bridport.

We looked at haiku and poems by William Carlos Williams. There was plenty of time for everyone to read their writing aloud and to get feedback from the group.

I read two of my poems – one more ‘finished’ than the other – and I talked about how I start writing, what sort of aspects I think about when developing and re-writing my work, and what sort of subjects compel me to write.

The time passed all too quickly and I’m hoping to run another poetry workshop soon with Story Traders.

Wimborne Lit Fest

The Literary Festival organised by Malcolm Angel of Gullivers Bookshop went brilliantly well. There were so many fascinating speakers and some lovely and historic settings used all around the town. My poetry workshop was very well attended and I enjoyed it tremendously. It was fun – lots of laughs – and also much excellent writing was produced. It’s amazing what we can write in a short space of time. Being put under a little bit of pressure can work wonders – deadlines are useful! Thank you to everyone who attended. I’m looking forward to next year’s Lit Fest in Wimborne.

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living.
— Anais Nin