Black Pug Books has been open in Wimborne every Thursday, Friday and Saturday since October 2012. As a newcomer to the town, Victoria Sturgess has made her mark on the popular thoroughfare by opening a bookshop full of ‘loved and used books’ at 24 West Borough. Sitting in Victoria’s front room, it is a pleasure to be surrounded by a hand chosen collection of out-of-print books. The shelves groan at the sheer weight of choice and I was delighted to purchase ‘An Outpost in Papua’ by Arthur Kent Chignell an account of missionary work in the early 1900s. Anything written about Papua New Guinea interests me, owing to my experience of living in Wabag, Enga Province during the 1980s.
Victoria has always wanted to run a book shop and began purchasing books that would form the stock three years ago. Paperbacks are a sideline (along with LPs, cigarette cards and magazines) and these are displayed in a wheelbarrow that is set outside the front door whenever the shop is open. Victoria encourages customers to knock on the door to gain access outside normal opening hours or you can telephone ahead for special visiting arrangements.
Already there are a number of regular visitors to Black Pug Books, and Victoria provides a social space with tea or coffee available as well as a friendly ear. She enjoys the opportunity to talk about books almost as much as selling them. All books are individually priced and Victoria is happy to undertake book searches for customers.
Alongside The Minster, Black Pug Books provides another good reason for visiting Wimborne.