Room provides showcase for treasures of the book world

August 01 2017
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A TREASURE trove of rare, first edition and antiquarian books has been created by the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin at Bookbarn International near Wells.

William Pryor, co-owner of Bookbarn International, opened the new Darwin Room at a launch party on June 29.

Some of the oldest and rarest books specially selected from the emporium archives have gone on sale in the newly-created room where people will be able to browse through historical, factual, classic and rare fiction titles.

Bristol-based theatre company Closer Each Day, who performed their own improvised soap opera at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, performed at the party to celebrate some of the greatest titles in literature.

William said: “My great-great-grandfather would be pleased that one of his descendants should establish a book emporium selling beautiful, rare and antiquarian books in his name. It took him 40 years to publish On the Origin of Species, so he would forgive me for taking another 150 to establish Darwin Rare Books – a shrine to the very lifeblood of his science.

“With sales of physical books up eight per cent in the last year and Kindle sales continuing to dwindle, there couldn’t be a better time to launch the Darwin Room as a celebration of all that we hold dear about books – both old and new.

“The Darwin Room will bring together the most beautiful, wonderful, and weird antiquarian books selected by staff over the last two years.”

Highly collectible, the books in the Darwin Room are all for sale and categories include children’s books, religious manuscripts, history (both local and national), sport, classic fiction, biography and factual books.

Bookbarn International is an independent business shipping thousands of books every week to customers globally through the major internet sales sites. Visitors can browse thousands of titles on its shelves and relax in an on-site cafe at its base in Hallatrow.