Cuppa and a cake at Cogito

This booktrail bookshop is coming to an end – one more on the list this week.Oh How I wish I had more to visit….well of course there are loads across the country on my list but for now I’m in sunny Northumberland!

Aah Cogito books - i'm here for a cuppa and a cake today!
Aah Cogito books – i’m here for a cuppa and a cake today!

But before the booktrailer heads home to Booktrail towers to prepare for the next mammoth booktrail (the next one is set in 1950s Malaya), we headed for a nice relaxing Cuppa and a cake with a lovely lady named Claire who owns a beautiful bookshop – Cogito books in Hexham

Now I was on a mission here for Cogito already run a tea and cake offering whereby  you can book a session – rather like that of a personal book advisor – to learn about new literature and what suits you as a reader. All this with tea and cake! Well, Claire deserves a little of her own medicine we thought so…..

Welcome to Cuppa and a Cake Claire!


the perfect spot in Cogito for Cuppa and a Cake
the perfect spot in Cogito for Cuppa and a Cake

Wow what a gorgeous shop! Where should we have our Cuppa and a cake? I’ve brought fresh cream eclairs and two butterfly cakes. Ooh what’s that? Victoria Sponge? Well how do you know that’s one of my favourites!

What do you love about working for Cogito?

I love people and I love books and bookselling is about connecting the two.  It is just brilliant when you introduce someone to a book that they really enjoy or help someone find exactly what it is they are looking for.  I think what independent bookselling offers is the flexibility to offer a better service to customers, to tailor that service to customers as individuals, to be creative and working in Cogito Books is always interesting and you never know what each day will bring!


The booktrailer did not fall asleep in this I did not.....certainly not whilst dreaming of a book I'd been reading..
The booktrailer did not fall asleep in this chair….no I did not…..certainly not whilst dreaming of a book I’d been reading..

Where does the name come from?

The name Cogito comes from the French philosopher Descartes’s  Cogito Ergo Sum which means  ‘I think therefore I am’ .

-Ooh I didn’t know that. That’s interesting. Now then, as we’re sitting here scoffing on victoria sponge and cream eclairs, I’d like to find out a little bit about your book recommendation service…

 The Cogito Reading Treat is our personal book consultation.  Over tea and homemade biscuits we talk about the books people have loved and their interests and from this we suggest a bespoke selection of 6 books that will hopefully become new favourites for them.  It is the perfect gift for a bibliophile or even for oneself!  We have had a great response to the Reading Treat with many people delighted that it has helped them discover new authors they might not otherwise have found.

Cuppa and a cake in a bookshop! I think I might move in here...
Cuppa and a cake in a bookshop! I think I might move in here…

-I would love that! Thinks about booking that for a fellow booktrailer later in the year….


You have a lovely sofa in your store – have you ever found someone asleep on it?

I have never found anyone asleep on the sofa, but I had a customer at closing time on a Saturday  say that he’d been more than happy to be left locked in the bookshop and would be completely fulfilled spending time reading until I opened up again on Monday morning!


the Children's corner
the Children’s corner

I love your children’s section. What’s the funniest thing that a child in your store has said or done?

We’re so pleased that the children find our children’s area and selection of books so inviting and lots of our younger customers are really enthusiastic about reading which is very encouraging.  We’re always trying to find the books that will spark that enthusiasm for everyone, adults and children alike. 

I think the funniest thing a child has said was a little girl who was telling my dad about her book request letter to Father Christmas. My dad asked if she had sent her letter up the chimney,  she looked at him as though he had absolutely lost the plot and knew nothing, declaring “no… I emailed him”.  Everyone in the shop burst out laughing. 


What has been your favourite author event at your store?

We have hosted lots of events over the 13 years that we have been bookselling and we have met so many lovely authors who have been incredibly supportive to Cogito Books.  It is really difficult to choose a favourite event, but some highlights would definitely include Alexander McCall Smith, Jonny Wilkinson, Piers Torday and also events such as magical Harry Potter parties at midnight. Cake is often a feature of our events and I have a lovely comment in an Anne Fine novel saying how much she enjoyed my scones!  

IBW2014 display at Cogito

Why should people support IBW14?

IBW14 is representative of what independent bookshops throughout the country do week in week out – introducing people to good books!  Whether it be through events, conversations, recommendations, or an interesting display in an inspiring shop.  It is a week celebrating the passion of independent booksellers who in their own ways create unique discoveries of books. Time spent reading is so precious that it is important that the book you’re reading is a really good one and this is where independent booksellers come into their own… the enjoyable discovery of excellent books!


Ah thanks Claire, right enough questions – time to polish off these eclairs. I’ll put these books down, can’t risk getting cream on them, I’d never forgive myself.

(Claire goes off to find me some books to recommend and comes back with a pile so huge I can’t see her face)

Malaysia, Mallorca, Margate….well that’s the booktrailer sorted for the next few months!

The joys of travelling with a good book – sometimes you don’t know where you will end up!

Visit Cogito here –  or better still take a lovely train journey up to Northumberland and spend the weekend reading and enjoying tea and cake! aaah bliss

Visit them on Twitter too – @cogitobooks and Facebook – 

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