The Book Hive is a place that celebrates the beauty of printed material – as well as the pleasures of whimsical, alternative curation.
We display our stock in a way that maximises the visual impact of book design, liberally spreading titles over tables and shelves ‘face out’ wherever possible. The shop is also famous (or infamous) for foregoing traditional ‘sections’ in favour of mixes of the booksellers’ personal picks, allowing for a unique browsing experience and the kind of serendipitous stumbling that more conservative layouts – or algorithms – cannot replicate.
The shop building itself has been lovingly renovated inside, combining the old charm and character of the original space with a playful sense of fun and panache. The overall effect – we hope – is an invitation to visit, browse, discuss and spend time reading, not just to come and buy books.
We host regular events in the shop, including a weekly quiet reading hour, author signings, and book launches, as well as other tangentially-book-related goings on.
The Daily Telegraph’s Best Small Bookshop in Britain (2011).
First place in the East in The Independent’s Top 50 Bookshops in the UK (2012).
The British Book Award’s Best Independent Bookshop in the East of England (2018).