About Us

Our Main Shop – Glastonbury

What is The Speaking Tree?

The Speaking Tree is a small company based in Glastonbury, operating a wholesale business that specialises in selling “mind, body and spirit” and related titles at discount prices to customers in the UK and throughout the world. We also have a popular retail outlet on Glastonbury High Street, as well as a second-hand outlet directly opposite.

The Speaking Tree prides itself on being an ethical company. We do our best to be environmentally responible – reusing then recycling all our paper, employing local craftspeople to fit out our shops with natural materials, buying eco-friendly products, and using Ecotricity to supply our energy. We also buy Fair Trade where possible, and treat our customers, suppliers and staff with respect.

The Speaking Tree: Past and Present

The Speaking Tree began life when Gareth Mills opened a canvas-covered stall in the alleyway leading to The Glastonbury Experience courtyard. From here, he sold a wide variety of second-hand books, focused on the alternative market that appealed to Glastonbury’s visitors and residents.

Over time, trade grew, and the stall expanded into a small shop at the back of The Glastonbury Experience – Courtyard Books. Some years later, The Speaking Tree bookshop was opened across the road on the High Street (in a shop that was formerly home to Unique Publications, for those with an interest in Glastonbury history). This shop focused on selling bargain rather than second-hand books, but its focus remained on the alternative market.

The second-hand business continued to flourish, and eventually Courtyard Books expanded into larger premises directly opposite The Speaking Tree bookshop (formerly home to Wicked Wax Candles, and before that, the original home of Glastonbury’s wholefood shop). As well as continuing to sell a broad range of second-hand books, Courtyard Books began to specialise in rare and antiquarian titles.

By this time, The Speaking Tree was also operating in the wholesale market, selling to a wide variety of shops and business throughout the UK and the rest of the world. From humble beginnings as a tiny outdoor stall, it had now reached the stage of requiring a large warehouse to hold its stock.

Today, The Speaking Tree sets out to acquire the best books – mainly in the mind, body and spirit field – at bargain prices, and pass the savings on to you. Whether you’re a retail customer, a wholesale customer, or a buyer of second-hand books, our business ethic remains the same – high quality titles at reasonable prices. Our trestle tables full of second-hand titles can still be found in the alleyway leading to The Glastonbury Experience courtyard, making sure that our roots are not forgotten.

The Speaking Tree