About Arcturus Bookshop

Welcome to Arcturus Books.  Nicknamed ‘Self-Help Central’, we are an independent bookshop, which is ‘deliberately different’, specialising in books that support the soul.  Although we do stock the bestsellers, we aim to cater for the reader who is looking for something that little bit different.

A consistent and inspiring presence in Totnes, the magical town that is twinned with Narnia, for over 30 years, we took over Arcturus Books in 2021. We feel so lucky to carry on the legacy of Arcturus Books, and hope that we continue to build on the reputation that this wonderful book shop has.


At Arcturus, you will find an ever-changing collection of books on all genres; from psychology to self-development, spirituality to health and nutrition, the environment to history and many more in between.  We also hold an extensive range of books on Wicca, Pagan and Magic, as well as a stock of sage and crystals.

Beyond books, we also offer a unique selection of tarot and oracle cards, from beginner’s sets to those seeking more variety and inspiration for your readings.

In 2021, we launched our online bookshop, which you can browse from the comfort of your own home. We are a small independent shop, so if you are searching our online shop and are unable to see the title that you are after, please do get in touch. We love searching out books for customers (we like to term ourselves the ‘literary detectives’) and we can usually order a book in for you specially within 48 hours.

Meaning of Arcturus


We often get asked where the name ‘Arcturus’ comes from.

Arcturus is the brightest star in Bootes ‘the herdsman’ constellation. It is the fourth brightest in the night sky, a red giant with a diameter of over 25 times that of our Sun, and the brightest in the northern celestial hemisphere. Arcturus is visible from the both of the Earth’s hemispheres, usually during the late northern spring or the southern Autumn.

There are many stories about the derivations of the name. The traditional name is derived from Ancient Greek and means ‘Guardian of the Bear’ or ‘Watcher Guardian’.  One of the earliest descriptions of Boötes simply has him as a herdsman driving a bear around the sky. The bear, of course, is Ursa Major (Great Bear) which the constellation Boötes follows around the North Pole.

Fun fact: One of the possible etymologies offered for the name ‘Arthur’ assumes that it is derived from “Arcturus” and that the early Medieval character on whom the myth of King Arthur is based was originally named for the star.

An introduction to the knowledgeable team of self-confessed reading addicts.

Meg (engaged to Will)

I have experienced a change of direction in life (an early ‘mid-life crisis’ if you will!), having first qualified as a solicitor and then a secondary school teacher, but am now happily settled and am enjoying spending my time surrounded by books and words. I love reading books about nature, having grown up on a smallholding in West Wales growing and foraging herbs and veggies with my Dad. I am a committed vegan and am very interested in the rewilding movement in the south-west. Growing up in a family with four sisters and a strong Mum, I adore reading books about feminism and enjoy a good debate about almost anything.


Favourite Book – Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Epitomising carpe diem, this novel explores the core ideas of what should be fundamental to us as humans in our relationships with others, and warns against the possibility of not realising what is important to us until it is too late. Emotional, funny and fascinating.

Will (engaged to Meg)

I am originally from The Lizard in beautiful Cornwall, but have now made my way across the Tamar. I love the outdoors, and grew up messing around in boats. My Dad was a shipwright at St Anthony in Cornwall, so naturally I have very fond memories of using our boat in the summer or helping my dad with repairs. I am a qualified person-centred counsellor, and am extremely interested in thinking about how the mind works, so love researching and reading self-help and psychology books.

I have always absolutely loved books from as far back as I can remember. My favourite genres are crime and thrillers, although I am open minded and will give anything a go ( pretty important when you own a book shop!) – essentially, I just love books.

Favourite Book – So hard to choose one, but it would have to be The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time or The Kite Runner. I indulged in them both when I was about 18 on a long car journey and they had such a profound effect on me.