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
Our newest official staff member is Edward. He will be working with us during school holidays and weekends.
Edward 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.
In September he will be 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.
Becky - Staff Member
Becky was born and raised in Cheshire. She worked briefly for Barclays Bank on leaving school, but quickly developed itchy feet and spent a year backpacking alone around Australia and Indonesia. This was the start of a number of travelling adventures from the Carribean, Europe, the Far East and Africa. Becky has a passion for outdoors activities including wild camping, mountaineering and in the last three years wild swimming. She is also a qualified freefall skydiver. Becky moved to Sedbergh in 2013 and has fully embraced life in Cumbria, spending as much time outdoors as is possible. Her favourite reading genres are anything about real life adventures in the great outdoors.