Thursday, 30 April 2015

Meet Handpicked Books...

We all love a good book. And whether it's a crime thriller, classic novel, local history, cookery, vintage reprint, craft (or almost any other genre) that you enjoy, Handpicked Books are sure to have something on their shelves in Bird's Yard that will catch your eye. Here we catch up with Evelyn Risner, the owner of Handpicked Books, to ask her about her choices and selling in Bird's Yard. 

Handpicked Books Sheffield

What was your inspiration to start Handpicked Books?

I was in a gallery on the south coast about 5 years ago and saw a beautiful series of art books. I got to thinking that there was nothing like this available in Sheffield, which was a shame. So, I bought some to sell myself...they were some of first books I ever sold. 

Why did you decide to sell your choice of books in Bird's Yard?

Selling with Bird's Yard appealed to me as it's an independent shop and it's a great way to support other small businesses while keeping Sheffield city centre interesting. As well as selling books at fairs, I wanted a permanent base to sell from and being right in the heart of the city it's perfect for getting a selection of unusual books to a wide audience.

Handpicked Books at Bird's Yard Sheffield
A selection of books in Bird's Yard handpicked by Evelyn

How do you choose the books that end up on your shelves?

I choose books often for their illustrations, for example Shakespeare's Illustrated Verse. They bring to life the writing and also make beautiful additions to your bookshelves at home. It's also interesting to find books by local publishers, such as Remote and Undisturbed: A Brief History of the Sheffield General Cemetery.

Sheffield Books in Bird's Yard
A selection of some of the local interest books selected by Handpicked Books

Whose work and items do you like in Bird's Yard?

There are many items I like in the shop. Some of my favourites are the jewellery, in particular the vintage brooches from Galabeer and the Dog. Also, the fused glass and semi precious stone jewellery of Claudia Latini.

Jewellery in Bird's Yard Sheffield
Some of the jewellery from Galabeer & the Dog and Claudia Latini that Evelyn admires

What's next from Handpicked Books?

Continuing to find more interesting titles to share with Bird's Yard's customers. And then there's the Persephone Book Group that I'm organising that takes place quarterly in the shop. The first evening was in March with the next one on 4th June where we'll be discussing is High Wages by Dorothy Whipple. 

You can find the books Evelyn selects on the book shelves in Bird's Yard.

If you'd like to come along to the book group please email Evelyn ( to book a free place. 

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