A FEW days holiday enabled me to visit Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland – a most remarkable second-hand bookshop. It is set in a disused railway station and includes many unique features which woo a steady stream of booklovers through its doors. First, there’s the totally dog-friendly policy which even includes bowls of water for dogs. More and more places (including cafes) in the UK are becoming dog friendly and it’s obvious that bookshops should welcome dog lovers with open arms. Afterall, when you’re taking the dog for a walk, what better than to call in to your local bookshop for a few minutes for a browse. Then there’s the real fires which you can rest in front of while you read your books. And running above the bookshelves are model train sets – echoing the railway station in which it is based. There’s a cafe of course (in the railway waiting rooms) and thousands upon thousands of second-hand books. I’d encourage all book lovers to visit Barter Books but I’d also encourage bookshop owners to visit the shop for some ideas as to how they might improve their bookshop experience. My only ‘criticism’ is that the model trains are difficult to see on top of the shelves. In my library, the model trains run along the shelves, including in and out of the books!