BE PART OF OUR EXCITING NEW SPACE
Mr B’s is looking to grow. We have an immediate one-off opportunity to add the adjacent premises to Mr B’s at 13 John Street to our existing shop.
But we don’t want to just add some more bookshelves. We’re determined to create something bold; something that shows kids, and reminds grown-ups, how exciting reading can be and something that shows that the high street is very much alive and kicking.
We have outgrown our physical space both in terms of the busyness of the shop floor and the tiny space behind the scenes for servicing our wonderfully hectic shop. And now we’re thrilled that our plan to expand without relocating has become a possibility, because every day we hear from our customers that our quirky labyrinthine space is part of what makes Mr B’s special.
THE WOODS BETWEEN THE WORDS
OUR NEW ROOM FOR CHILDREN
Our new indoor woodland of books will mean:
- a vastly expanded inspirational space for young readers with two seating areas, cushioned book-nooks, a garden bench and, needless to say, many more books with which to excite every age group;
- mural artwork and other special woodland touches by Bristol artist Alex Lucas will complement her Reading Tree which we unveiled in 2017 and which will move to its new home at the centre of this leafy new kids room;
- regular children’s storytelling sessions for pre-school ages, something the existing shop configuration doesn’t allow for;
- space to introduce a new monthly YA book club to give Bath’s teenagers and young adults a dynamic forum for talking about books;
- space to host Reading Spas for children within the children’s room itself, allowing us to fully involve our younger guests in choosing the books that excite them the most;
capacity at last for more specialist selections of fiction, non-fiction and graphic novels that are so crucial for encouraging reluctant readers and young readers with dyslexia; and
space for children’s author events and regular weekend signing appearances.
We’ve also dreamed up a special area to celebrate the crafts of writing and illustration that underpin everything a bookshop is about.
- Writers and illustrators will be able to hire ”The Imaginarium” for up to a week at a time at a modest fee with all proceeds going to a local charity.
- “The Imaginarium” will be a sumptuous, cosy space with a beautiful desk and easel and decorated with trinkets and oddities galore, all designed to inspire and to spark the imagination – and all set in the heart of our vibrant bookshop.
- We hope that the those who spend time in “The Imaginarium” will be energised by spending time working amidst the energy of the Mr B’s shop floor.
- We want our customers to feel more connected than ever to the creative process behind the books we love to read; and we hope that seeing writers and illustrators at work might inspire the next generation.
We want this to be a space which welcomes everyone, whether or not they’ve yet discovered the joys of reading. It should inspire book-agnostics and dazzle book-obsessives and it should keep Mr B’s at the centre of Bath’s unique high street offer – at a time when that high street needs good news stories to keep attracting visitors and serving local customers imaginatively.
WHY WE’RE ASKING FOR YOUR SUPPORT
This is an urgent, necessary and large-scale project (our shop floor space will expand by 55%) which represents the perfect opportunity for Mr B’s to offer much more to our community and our visitors, just as Britain’s high streets are coming under threat.
That’s why, to do this properly and quickly, we’re turning to our many loyal customers and supporters in Bath and beyond. Raising funds through crowdfunding will provide the capital needed to bring The Woods between the Words and The Imaginarium to life and to ensure we can achieve our vision for this new endeavour. Your money will be spent directly on creating these amazing spaces with the help of local traders, craftspeople and artists.
We have put together a long list of wonderful and oddball rewards to thank you for your pledges. We have some exclusive thank you gifts, special sponsorships and a number of one-off experiences.
Every one of our backers will receive a limited edition “Mr B’s Imaginarium” cloth bag and will be thanked on our website. We’re also creating a supporters’ ceiling in the newly expanded shop and having our friends at Meticulous Ink make a stunning letterpress thank-you bookmark.
For the first time ever – and exclusively for this campaign – we’re introducing three special Mr B’s memberships named for some appropriate authors and characters, which will entitle supporters to ongoing discounts on their book purchases. We’ve also got special book selections and all kinds of opportunities for you, or your business, to connect more with Mr B’s – for example by having your own shelf, working with us for a day, joining our podcast or sponsoring objects in the shop.
We are so lucky to have loyal fans and advocates of our bookshop far and wide and we hope that you will choose to pledge your support for this project and become an even more integral part of Mr B’s.
If you aren’t able to pledge, you can still be a huge help to us by sharing this campaign as much as you can via any form of social media, word-of-mouth, letter, postcard, phone call – anything, we’ll love you for it!