Crumbling shop smashes target

Food review, the cafe at Scarthin Books, Cromford
Food review, the cafe at Scarthin Books, Cromford

Owners of a bookshop which was feared may collapse under the weight of its own literature say they are “delighted” – after raising £10,000 for repairs in less than one month.

Scarthin Books, in Cromford, needed major renovation to ensure its three floors didn’t crumble under the weight of its books.

Owners launched an ambitious Crowdfunding appeal to save the shop in March – and have now reached their target with four days left to go.

Wendy Cooper, of Scarthin Books, said: “It’s fantastic to have reached the target early. We feel so pleased that people have been so wonderful and generous – it’s amazing that the shop is so well loved.”

The shop – which was dubbed one of the best in the world in 2007 – received donations from people across the globe.

The bookshop has now had four steel columns fitted, meaning fears that the bookshop may crumble have been put to one side.

Wendy said: “The shop is definitely structurally sound now, which is a relief.

“We’ve got over 100,000 books on all of our floors, which is quite some weight. There were some serious concerns that the building might crumble. But we can relax now.”

Wendy said the next works to be done are: re-pointing the gable end and chimney, to make it waterproof; fitting new carpet; replacing the blinds which shelter the 50p books outside.

She said: “Very soon, we will have a full meeting to decide what repairs and renovations we will be able to afford.”

Owner Dave Mitchell said the shop had been groaning under the weight of its books for years.

Dave said: “For many years we’ve sidelined building and general maintenance work in favour of ploughing any spare cash – and our overdraft – back into the bookshop and on creative expansion projects in the children’s room, art room, music room and cafe.”

The much-loved shop has served customers for 40 years now, and was even voted as the sixth best bookshop in the world by Guardian online in 2007.

You can read more about Scarthin Books by visiting

To donate, or to find more information on the appeal, visit