With a huge personal collection of books at her disposal, a love of baking and a desire for a change in career it was only natural that Beverley Sangsuwan would eventually open up a bookshop or cafe.
And in Naiharn, she has managed to combine the two to create the very homely Book Cafe, located just before the hill that goes over to Kata. Beverley and her husband Chewy have now had the cafe open for several months.
The cafe features an extensive selection of used books in good condition, most from Beverley’s collection but also purchased from various second hand shops, or donated by friends.
Non-fiction, local interest, and real-life stories also feature, with crime books being the most popular. Books are reasonably priced and those who return them in good condition can get 50 per cent off their next book.
“I try to think about what I want to read. I try to find titles that are recent, modern and will appeal to most people.”
Most books are in English but there is also a small German and international selection.
Then onto the treats – the cafe is stocked with whatever goodies Beverley feels like baking that morning, ranging from chocolate brownies – a favourite with everyone – cookies, cupcakes, lemon cheesecake, custard slices, banana loaf, or Australian crunch (a chocolate, coconut, and cornflake slice popular with those from Down Under).
There is also fresh coffee and tea, protein shakes including banana shakes with bee pollen, sandwiches, and fresh juices, including Roselle juice.
Beverley hails from Manchester, England, but has lived in Phuket for about six years. “I was working as an English teacher but I got to the point where I wanted something different. I love being at home with the dog (Panda, a gorgeous sheepdog).”
She noticed there were not any used book stores around the Naiharn area where she lived so decided to go ahead with the venture.
The little Thai house has been renovated and is a cute hangout that sits on a small hill with a welcoming and friendly atmosphere and good music. You can also find a small collection of handicrafts on offer, with hand-made cards, bags and earrings from Chiang Mai, and locally-made jewellery.
The Book Cafe, 100/2 Soi Kata/Sai Yuan, Moo 7, Tambon Rawai, 0857942371, bookcafephuket.com. Open 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Saturday.