Monday, March 23, 2009

Cardiff Christian bookshop, Wyndham Arcade

Cardiff Christian Bookshop, located in Wyndham Arcade, one of the many shopping arcades in Cardiff, is one of the Evangelical Movement of Wales bookshops. Located as it is in the capital of Wales, it is a well-stocked shop with helpful staff who usually know what they're talking about. Its location means that it is a general evangelical bookshop, so some of the stock would be less than acceptable to the presumed readers of a blog entitled 'Strict and Particular'. Nevertheless, the majority of the books stocked here are of a helpul nature.

The shop stocks a wide variety of materials, from children's books to the huge and more intellectually-challenging. On one visit I picked up Philip Comfort's huge New Testament Text and Translation Commentary. The majority of Christian bookshops, especially evangelical ones, have to maintain a delicate balance between selling what the managers like and what the public are asking for. The question of how far to go is up to management at the shop. One way to go is that of the Norwich Christian Resorce Centre, and other ecumenical shops - sell anything and everything - the other is that of the Tabernacle Bookshop - sell only what Dr. Masters wants to. Which is fair enough, since he runs it. Still other shops cater to the lowest common denominator of evangelicalism - Dance Praise and The Shack, with more CDs than books. The EMW shops seem to be closest to the balance that keeps a shop financially viable, yet without making the name 'bookshop' something of a misnomer. Cardiff Christian Bookshop also has a secondhand section, which usually contains something useful as well as books that seem to have been given to the EMW because no-one wants them any more - such as A.S. Peake's book on the true nature of Christianity. The answer, of course, is not what Prof. Peake thought it was.

Next: Pontypridd gets the In Many Bookshops treatment!

Disclaimer: This is an opinionated blog piece, and as such may safely be ignored if you disagree with it. All opinions contained in this piece are those of the author, and possibly no-one else.


Jonathan Hunt said...

The Tab bookshop is pretty unique - it doesn't have to operate as other commercial bookshops do, even though it pays rent and pays its staff. Nonetheless, due to the prestige location, the reach of the mailings and so forth, it is strong enough to be selective.

I really don't have an issue with bookshops running as commercial concerns - how else can they? I only get annoyed where there is NO good stuff in them!!

Wesley Owen gets up my nose - 95% stuff I would never buy.

Highland Host said...

Why do you think Wesley Owen is notably absent from this series? I haven't been to one for years, and haven't bought anything in one for even longer. The trouble is indeed not that they operate as commercial concerns, but that so many cater to the lowest common denominator!

Evangelical books said...

Hi Gervase,

Believe it or not, I actually frequent the Wesley Owen shop in Birmingham. That is because they tend to discount the books they cannot sell - which sometimes are the books I like.

e.g. I bought Tim Wengert's Law and Gospel for £4 when its original price was £15.


Evangelical books said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hiraeth said...

Wyndham Arcade Bookshop used to have a heavily disounted set of the works of Richard Sibbes. No use looking for that now, though... (evil laugh)

The magazine section is very useful for those of us who work in the city. It's also just down from the new library.