How it all began…

The Enchanted Emporium Bookshelf

Both witches, Willow and Amber are keen readers and inspired by the pop-up free libraries she saw on social media, Amber decided to create one of her own.

She dragged a small cabinet she found in the depths of the Emporium’s stock room out into the Witch’s Yard. Her initial plan was to share spell books with those with magical tendencies so they could improve their craft when funds were low, but it grew to include any books she, Willow or Rosa adored.

But the cabinet is fussy. Only books containing threads of magic, folklore or paranormal are permitted to sit on its shelves. Without them, the book leaps from the enchanted shelf and ricochets across the yard to the nearest puddle or wall. The cabinet has its own impeccable taste. Rosa has tried to sneak her much loved non-magic books into the cabinet with horrifying consequences. It cannot be said it that no books were hurt during her experiments. On one occasion a novel burst into flames until only ash remained.

The cabinet also has a possessive streak with certain books including an illustrated copy of A Christmas Carol. Only a select few are allowed to borrow them. There have been several reports about this book in particular of how it places itself on top of the borrowers reading pile, follows them around their homes and nudges them if ignored. Once read, it finds its own way back to the shop’s courtyard. Borrowing it has become a badge of honour; not only because the person is judged to be trustworthy but they also have the courage to live with such an impatient novel. 

Books for all age groups are welcome. The other day a young child added Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, and the cabinet’s sigh of happiness drifted into the store for all to hear. If you have read or watched the film, you’ll understand why. 

The cabinet is now brimming with old favourites such as Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, many Barbara Erskine novels and newer novels like The Once and Future Witches by Alix E Harrow, The Castle Clair witch series by Sharon Booth, Beltane by Alys West and Threadneedle by Cari Thomas.

More books are added on a regular basis.

What would you recommend the cabinet of magical reads should consider?

You can keep up to date with the witches of Whitby on their bookshelf on Instagram Witch_of_Whitby

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