Monday, March 18, 2013

In Many Bookshops with Pastor Charmley: The Branch, Dewsbury

Christian bookshops, like all bookshops, come in many shapes and sizes. There are some that are large chain stores, corporate, sleek, predictable, and others are small, independent and quirky. As you have guessed, I like the quirky ones, large or small, whether independent, like the Christian Bookshop in Ossett, or not, like the magnificently eccentric Barbican Books in York, with its staircases many and rooms many. The Branch Christian Bookshop, Dewsbury (17 Halifax Road, Dewsbury WF13 2JH), certainly falls into the quirky category. Look at our illustration - surely it is a small book, you think. You would be wrong; like Doctor Who's TARDIS, it is bigger on the inside. You enter to find yourself in an Aladdin's Cave of second hand Christian books, all reasonably priced, and a staircase invites you "further up and further in" to where the new books are. It all makes sense when you realise that you have, quite unbeknownst to you if approaching from out of town (as I did), actually stumbled across the old Gospel Temperance Hall (now Dewsbury Gospel Church), a splendid 1930s building illustrated here. A good selection, comfy sofas to sit on while checking books you are interested in purchasing, friendly and helpful staff, this is a great place to go to - though make sure that, if possible, you combine your visit with one to the Christian Bookshop at Ossett, nearby. The best thing about these shops is that they actually sell books, even dog-eared, battered books over a century old. Highly recommended.

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