Countryside Books was started in 1976 by Nick and Sue Battle working from their dining room table. Their first book title, Walks Around The Downs included a walk across Watership Down (Hampshire/Berkshire borders) made famous by Richard Adams' book about a family of rabbits.
The book Tales of Old Berkshire by Newbury author Cecilia Millson came out in 1977. Fired with the success of these two books and plans for future book titles, Nick gave up his job in a London publishing firm in 1980.
Since then Countryside Books has moved out of the Battles' home and grown to its present staff of four full-time and five part-time free lancers. It is still based close to the centre of Newbury.
Over the years Countryside Books has also published books in partnership with the County Federations of the Womens' Institutes and the Federation of Family History Societies.
Approximately 5 new book titles are published each year and at any one time a nucleus of around 400 books are available from the backlist.