READERS have been given something to celebrate today with the opening of a new book shop in a former bank.

Daunt Books has kept its promise to open its latest branch in Summertown, despite tough trading conditions created by the coronavirus crisis.

When The Book House in Summertown closed after 40 years in 2018 local bookworms were understandably upset.

But they can now enjoy having a bookstore on their doorstep once more as the chain based in Marylebone opens in the former NatWest Bank building in Banbury Road.

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Store manager Elizabeth Perry said: “The welcome we have received already before the shop has even opened has been extraordinary.


Elizabeth Perry

“I think people will be pleased to see a new store opening when in some parts of the country they have been closing or not reopening.

“Summertown feels so buoyant that this feels like the right decision.

“We are definitely fulfilling a need here after The Book House closed down. We want to be at the heart of the local community and run author events and other events when we are able to. It’s quite spacious inside so there should be room for events and there is also some garden space as well.”

The books chain has been eyeing up Summertown as an opportunity for a number of years.


Chain spokesman Brett Wolstencroft said: “When we visited Summertown we saw quite a few people with Daunt Books’ bags so we knew there was support for us. We kept a lookout for bank buildings and when this one closed it seemed like the right opportunity.

“It’s quite spacious inside so there will be room for author events at the front and it’s a well-ventilated area so it’s a safe, comfortable space.”

Mr Wolstencroft said the chain usually liked to pack its stores with tables but would not be doing this so much in the current climate.


Daunt Books in Marylebone

He added: “We have resisted that impulse but it’s a safe and enjoyable place to browse.”

There will be a wide-ranging stock, Mr Wolstencroft added, with a major focus on children’s books.

The store will trade Monday to Saturday 9am to 6pm and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.