Back in 2001, two new websites were born to help support Christian Bookshops and their customers: UKCBD, the UK Christian Bookshops Directory (now, of course, home to this blog) and The Good BookStall. I invited Mary Bartholomew — The Good BookStall’s Editor, who describes herself as “a retired Christian Bookshop Manager, a compulsive reader of Christian books with a longing to encourage others to dip into the treasures available” — to introduce The Good BookStall.
As you’ll see, they’re always looking for more reviewers. So is this site: please do get in touch if you’d like to contribute to either!
- UKCBD Review Guidelines
- Use the Feedback section if you’d like to send in a review for use on this site.
And now it’s over to Mary:
The Good BookStall website evolved from a stapled booklet listing new Christian publications, cards, music etc, distributed to Christian bookshops for handing out to Book Agents. This was to give those who stocked church bookstalls up to date information.
In the year 2001 the website was launched with the intention of following the same pattern. From the start it was obvious that we would be best reviewing books, and these reviews are being read by all manner of people, Christians and non-Christians alike from all around the world, not just in the UK. Sources of other Christian supplies, Christian Charities and other Christian Organisations can be found through our Links pages and advertisements.
There are now over 4,000 book reviews available at a click of a mouse written by volunteer reviewers whose only reward is to keep the books they review. The titles are arranged in thirty-seven categories, but can be found by a simple search facility, where you can search by Title, author, publisher or ISBN, i.e. the 13 digit number on the back of every book. A minimum of ten new books is added each week.
Many people are astonished to realise there are so many books published to help Christians and those enquiring into the Christian faith. From Bereavement/Healing through the alphabet to Youthwork Theory and Practice, every aspect of Christianity is covered with a useful catch-all category of General Interest when I don’t know where to place a book!
My job is to match books with reviewers. As we only recommend books, we do not need to read through any that we feel unhappy about, and I am content to abide by the decision of a reviewer if they decide to reject a title once they have begun to read it.
This does not mean that we have reviewed all the good books that exist, but it does mean that we have reviewed our choice of the ones sent to us by the different publishers. As the number of reviewers increases – and we are always looking for more – we can cope with more Publishers and it is these Publishers listed in out Publisher Directory, together with the Bookshops listed in the Bookshop Directory that support us financially and enable us to pay our way.
Occasionally books are brought to my attention from secular publishers or that are self published and I am glad to say that there is always room for those if they fit into our site.
I get very enthusiastic about every book I read, from Toddler’s board books to more serious tomes and hope that this enthusiasm, shared by the other reviewers, rubs off on those who dip into the site. Do explore the site.