Patrick Neale and Polly Jaffé met in the travel section of Waterstones Bristol, not as romantic as it sounds as they both were Waterstones employees at the time. Neither of them guessed that their meeting in 1992 would lead to an award winning Independent Bookshop in Chipping Norton, now celebrating its 15th anniversary and their three strapping sons.
Polly, Patrick and sons moved to Chipping Norton in September 2001 taking on the long established and much respected Bookshop Chipping Norton from Elizabeth Sleight. After 5 enjoyable years they moved the shop to it’s current ocation in the middle of the Market square. It was here that they developed their dream bookshop; opening it with a café serving Aga baked cakes by their friend Ceci Magee. It’s a source of joy and frustration that the cakes arouse greater social media celebration than the book reviews. The Bookshop developed a strong events program that, over the years, has seen Michael Palin, Ian Rankin, Jeannette Winterson, Jeremy Clarkson and many more wonderful Authors cross the threshold at the Bookshop. More recently they have enjoyed a brilliant partnership with Chipping Norton Literary Festival helping the town come alive with Literary and celebrity goings on each April.
Patrick’s BA Presidency and Polly’s Chairing of the Children’s Bookgroup and time served on the World Book Day Executive, along with her eye for useful and beautiful non book items, mean that they have been happy to broaden the appeal of the Bookshop selling numerous useful and beautiful gift items, including reading glasses, Lamy pens, candles and even slippers (to embody this year’s delight in the Hygge lifestyle phenomenon). They’ve been keen to lead the field in setting the standard for the Bookshop of the future, maintaining that it’s the books that are always Jaffé & Neale’s first passion. Patrick and Polly have developed a dedicated and thoughtful team who are delighted to recommend their favourite reads while serving a delicious cappuccino or flat white.
In a world of high street homogeneity, lacklustre customer service and internet drudgery Patrick and Polly have devoted their time to build an Independent Bookshop and café that celebrates the individual and applauds the stylish and quirky. Be it the book recommendation, the cake or the gift they aim for it to be of quality while carefully and lovingly prepared. With this in mind Jaffé & Neale are delighted to celebrate their 15th anniversary on 8th October 2016. They intend to celebrate throughout the autumn championing many of the great books being published. Also as a gift to themselves and as an indication of their confidence in the health of the physical book trade they are opening a second Bookshop & café, in Stow on the Wold, this autumn. More to follow about that. Championing books that may not be on the bestseller lists and marrying modern technology with good old fashioned face to face conversation, they aim to make the time spent at Jaffé & Neale time enjoyed and well spent. The goal is to cement a healthy future for real books in a high street environment for many years to come. Happy Birthday Jaffé & Neale.
[tweetthis]It’s party time! @Jaffeandneale 15 yrs old on 8th October. #booksaremybag #chippingnorton #birthday.[/tweetthis]
What a fantastic festival! The much anticipated Chipping Norton Literary Festival exceeded all expectation and was another incredible occasion for the town and beyond.
Thursday saw a steady flow of creativity and awe-inspiring talent stream through the shop as a rich variety of authors joined us here in the shop and across Chipping Norton. We saw an enthusiastic group of children’s authors coming together for the Festival’s school’s day. I’m undecided as to the what the collective noun for authors should be but when you see children’s authors, like those who joined us, its hard to think of anything strictly formal like an index or a chapter of authors. When you meet such imaginative, engaging and enthusiastic authors you know as a bookseller that your job has just become that much easier; their passion for books, not just their own work, and their eloquent way with words has most definitely sold us on every single book! Schools across the county were joined by Stewart Ross, Adam Stower, Dave Shelton, Gill Lewis, Elen Caldecott, Steven Butler, A F Harold and John Dougherty.
After a flying start, Friday, Saturday and Sunday saw an astonishing array of exceptional events ranging from Lee Child in the Theatre as well as Richard and Judy later in the day, Shelia Hancock and Baroness Trumpington, Matt Haig in the Town Hall and debut novelists Renee Knight, Jason Hewitt and Paula Hawkins, and storytelling with Petr Horacek in the Library. The town was buzzing with literary excitement and here in the shop we were truly privileged to host the Green Room. If you missed out this year on all that the Festival had to offer then make sure you follow us throughout the year and join us next year. Here are some of our favourite moments from the weekend.
With our most recent new member to the Jaffé & Neale team, Peter Jones, taking a wide interest in Graphic Novels we have all been recommending our favourite GNs in the shop. Typically associated with Comic Book series the genre of Graphic Novels has moved from superheroes to the adventures of everyday life in all of its beauty, bleakness and bold relationships that we, as humans, have experienced throughout time. Here are some of our recommendations:
The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman £16.99
The first graphic novel I have ever read and I loved it. Telling the story of what happened to his father in World War II, Art Spiegelman recounts the holocaust like never before.
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons £14.99
Moore has created an incredible story, exploring the political, ethical and psychological consequences of life as a vigilante. The sheer scope of issues Moore tackles is breath-taking, and its magnificent details is matched only by its beautiful illustration. The Watchmen sets the benchmark for modern superhero storytelling.
Take a step out of your comfort zone and try a new graphic novel or come and ask us for our recommendations. These books are like nothing you will have experienced before. Look out for authors such as Chris Ware, Joe Sacco and Bryan Lee O’Malley.
We have an amazing month ahead of us with a wide range of events to suit all. We start the month with a celebration of the Bookshop. Late night shopping and discounts on the night, we would like to invite you to an evening to enjoy books with a glass of fizz and some early Christmas shopping. As part of this exciting evening we will also have the privilege of hosting Clare Mackintosh for her first booksigning.