Stuck in a barn with… Octavia Karavla, Founder of award-winning Octavia’s Bookshop

You’ve gone for a stroll, taken in the Cotswolds view and decided to have a little snooze in a comfy barn, but when you wake up the door is jammed.  Eek what to do?….

Answer our nosey questions of course:

1. So Octavia…..who would be the first person you’d want to ring once you’d realised the barn door is jammed?

I would ring my father Nick Price as he is practical, knows his farming stuff (i.e. barns), is always brilliant in an emergency and is kind enough not to laugh, or at least just a little!

2. You’re trying not to panic so to change the subject, tell us how you came to own a beautiful independent bookshop and what your future plans there are.

I have always loved children’s books but my career happened by chance after finishing my degree (anthropology, archaeology and art history) when I went to work in Ottakar’s Bookshop in Cirencester, for what was meant to be a couple of months, but never left having found something I was passionate about. Children’s books combine literature with art in their wonderful illustration but also have a vast educational value and above all imagination and unadulterated escapism.


I then went on to become a Children’s Book Specialist for Waterstones and in 2011 opened by very own bookshop focusing on what I love, children’s books and teaching children to love them too.

In the future I would like to work even more with the publishers on reviewing manuscripts and finding beautiful new books.

3. What songs are you singing to while away the time?

London Grammar, really badly, hitting absolutely none of the high notes!


4. What makes you laugh?

My terrier Alfred, my friends, my sister’s toddler twins and my fiancé is really quite funny too!


5. What are you planning on drinking as soon as you’re out?

A giant gin and tonic!


6. What’s your first delicious item of food going to be when you’re free?  Where will you get it from?

Roast lamb cooked by my mother at the family home Forty Farm.

7. Where would be your favourite place to stay in the Cotswolds, if you weren’t sleeping in a bale of hay?

Probably Barnsley House hotel.

8. What are your immediate plans as soon as the barn door is open? Any hobbies you’re going to take up?

I’m happy with my current hobbies but should try and write more and probably do more drawing and painting too.


9. What are the books you’re keen to get back to reading?

It’s endless, in fact I panic when I think about all the books I want to read. I suppose I should try and read more grown-up books and would like to read the new Victoria Hislop ‘Carte Postales’, ‘Beneath a Burning Sky’ by Jenny Ashcroft, ‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman and ’ Inside Vogue’ by Alexandra Shulman.


10. What are your plans this autumn?  If you get out of that barn of course…

Batten down the hatches (not in the barn) reading, roaring fires and plotting an enchanting, irresistible, Dickensian Christmas for Octavia’s Bookshop!