Sarah Henshaw tells us about life living and working aboard The Book Barge.
The astonishing thing for me – even today – is how I’ve somehow crammed a business and home into what is effectively a 18-metre-long floating corridor. A very narrow corridor.
The bookshop opened in June 2009. My boyfriend and I bought the boat on a whim from a Google ad, ripped out the bathroom, galley, two bedrooms and a saloon, and instead fitted metres and metres of shelving and an old-fashioned till that made a delightful trinnnnng sound every time we opened the wooden cash drawer. A few years later we decided to move aboard, and had the frustrating task of retro-fitting that toilet, that kitchen, and a new bed.
Canal life has captivated me in a way I’d never imagined possible. It demands that you refine the way you move through this world, removing anything unnecessary until you’re left with a tiny, tailored space for just the things, people and purposes you love. The Book Barge
You can read Sarah’s guide to the UK’s lesser-known canal routes in ELLE Decoration Country Volume 6