Market Book stall celebrates 10th birthday

One of Shrewsbury’s largest secondhand bookshops is celebrating 10 years in business.

More Books moved into Shrewsbury Market Hall a decade ago and since then has quadrupled in size and amassed a regular following.

Set up by Peter Alltree, it now stocks over 25,000 books ranging from antiquarian books and first editions to paperbacks and old children’s favourites such as Rupert Bear and Malcom Saville’s classic children’s fiction.

Despite so many books crammed onto the shelves, Peter knows exactly where each title is placed.

“When there’s a request for a book, I can usually go straight to it,” he says.

It was the sudden death of a friend 10 years ago that prompted Peter to quit his previous job as a cook and pursue his dream of running his own bookshop.

“Colin was only 62 when he died. It made realise that you never know what’s around the corner in life, and you should be doing something you love,” he said.

“I went to the funeral and the very next day I handed in my notice. I’d been left a small inheritance by my mother six months earlier, and knew I could start a book stall in the market and survive for two years even if I didn’t sell a single book!”

But sell he did and, after just nine months, Peter expanded to the stall nextdoor. A year later he took on another two units.

“Now, 10 years on, I still love every minute of it,” he said.

“My mum taught me to read when I was three. I was brought up on Enid Blyton, Arthur Ransome novels, Biggles and stuff like that. I love books. I cannot imagine any better job than reading all day and, every so often, someone giving me a few pounds!”

Peter aims to cater for all tastes, but also enjoys searching out quirky titles and rare first editions.

“I’ve just bought in a load of philosophy books, books in Welsh and a collection of the 1950’s Sam Durrell spy novels,” he said.

More Books is located on the second-floor, gallery level of the Market Hall and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

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