Westwood Books is run by Paul and Heather Thomas plus a small team of staff. Here's a little bit more about them .
Heather - Co-Owner
I’m Heather, I grew up in Birmingham and we moved to Sedbergh as a family nearly 6 years ago. I’ve had a love of reading since I was a child and studied art, philosophy and English language and literature up to A level. I don’t have a particular favourite author or genre and tend to go through phases of devouring a certain topic or author then changing to another. Some books that I have particularly enjoyed are Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson, Where the Crawdad Sings by Delia Owens, and Swimming with Seals by Victoria Whitworth. I read a lot more nonfiction these days and enjoy reading about philosophy, psychology, mental health and cultural trends like Hygge and Lagom. Helen Russell’s book The Atlas of Happiness is really good for a quick insight into some of these. I’m trying to read more poetry and I love Nikita Gill’s writing. I’m also partial to a bit of Shakespeare but definitely no expert!
You will see me around the shop but I will also be the one behind our social media and other behind the scenes stuff.
Paul - Co-Owner
Paul was born in Essex, but spent most of his childhood in Solihull. Paul has had a career of twenty plus years in IT before deciding that a book sellers life was calling. He travelled a lot in his past roles but is happy to be more settled at the shop. You may have already spotted him in the book shop if you have visited in the last twelve months as he has been spending lots of time here learning the ropes.
His favourite author is Terry Pratchett and we have almost all of his books on our shelves at home. He also enjoys reading historical fiction such as the Candace Robb Owen Archer mysteries and science fiction like Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series.
Paul has a great memory for stock and is learning fast what we have in here so just ask if you are looking for anything in particular.
Caitlin - Staff Member
I'm an author, artist and habitual tea drinker. I was born in Cardiff, but I grew up in Lytham St. Annes. I studied Biology and Geology at Keele University whilst writing my first novel Anomaly. I moved to Cumbria four years ago and joined Westwood Books, since then I have published two more novels with my forth novel 'Quantum Messenger' due out in November 2020. I love reading fantasy and YA fiction, my current favourite book is Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. My favourite classics would have to be Dracula by Bram Stoker and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. You will see me working quietly in the shop, but feel free to ask me any questions.
Penny - Staff Member
Regular customers will recognise me as I have been at Westwood Books for over 10 years.
I was brought up in Dollar, Scotland which is remarkably similar to Sedbergh. I lived in the Hebrides for a number of years where my last job was working for the National Trust on the Isle of Canna. I was assistant to the eminent scholar Dr J L Campbell when he was writing his history of the island. I spent several years crofting on the Isle of Lismore before coming to Garsdale near Sedbergh.
I’ve always enjoyed books - favourite authors are Ian McEwan, Margaret Forster, and Lionel Shriver. I also like books on travel, Scotland, Polar and horses. I look forward to welcoming you to Westwood Books.
Edward - Staff Member
Edward will be working with us during school holidays and weekends.
He is in the unenviable position of being our son, but has very kindly agreed to be permanent staff and have his smiley face on our pages here.
he's currently studying Maths, Physics and Computer Science at A level. He has been an avid reader since he was small and enjoys science fiction and fantasy novels, as well as history and science based non fiction. Some of his favourite books include The Lost Fleet series, the Stark`s War series, both by Jack Campbell, and the Throne Of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas.
Jess - Staff Member
I was born in Reading but grew up just down the road in Kendal. After visiting my grandparents who had moved to Cautley in the 1980’s, my parents fell in love with the area and so we also moved up north. I visited Sedbergh many a time as a child and find it rather serendipitous that I came to live here with my little family in 2013 through my husband’s job.
I studied Illustration at Loughborough University but fell into a life of retail work and then Dental Nursing. At the beginning of the year I decided I needed a part time job that complemented my illustration work and I am very happy to have become the newest member of staff at Westwood Books. Unsurprisingly picture books and illustrated books are my favourite type of books. I also enjoy YA fiction, especially if there is a touch of magic, wonder and nature thrown in. I love pawing over a beautifully illustrated book and have started a little collection of my favourites which I’m continually adding to. My favourite book as a child was Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and I still have my original copy which is one of my most treasured possessions. I’m just a big kid really!