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Floating bookshop tale set to jump off the shelf

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 21, 2014

  • Sarah Henshaw + the Book Barge at Barton Marina

  • Sarah Henshaw + the Book Barge at Barton Marina

  • Margaret Stanhope Centre

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THE trials and tribulations of the launch of a floating bookshop based in East Staffordshire is now the focus of a new book.

The story of how the Book Barge, a floating bookstore moored at Barton Marina, came into being has now been recanted in ‘The Bookshop That Floated Away’ by owner Sarah Henshaw.

The story tells of her battle to get funding for the idea in the first place back in 2009, how she eventually found her £25,000 via Google and how a decision to take the barge around the country helped to keep it afloat.

She said: “Much as I’ve tried to bury my head in the sand about it, a book I’ve written about the barge is published in just under a fortnight.

“Frankly, this terrifies me. It loosely charts a summer I spent canalling two years ago and how, because I’m not great at bookselling, I mainly swapped my stock for stuff I needed along the way.

“Like toilets. And brawn at locks. I suspect bookshops will shelve it under travel, which it sort of is.

“But mainly it’s about me and the boat and so is likely to be incredibly tedious for most readers.

“There is, however, one consoling positive about this bookish effort, and that’s that I can finally thank a hell of a lot of people who’ve helped me out along the way. Many are mentioned in the book itself.”

Miss Henshaw now supports the barge by working as a school, librarian and working as a freelance copywriter.

A synopsis of the book states: “Books were bartered for food, accommodation, bathroom facilities and cake. This account follows the ebbs and flows of Sarah’s journey as she sought to make her vision of a floating bookshop a reality.”

For more information people can visit the website www.thebookbarge.co.uk

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