What’s a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon? Browsing second-hand bookshops. How to improve it? Mix in a couple of a friends and top it all off with lunch in the sun.
As any bibliophile should be able to do, I can spend a very long time in a bookshop, but even more so if it’s a second-hand shop. The finds are more varied, the editions less likely to have film tie-in covers (a particular bugbear of mine) and most of them don’t have children’s play areas like many high street chains do.
- Rule #1 for book shop browsing with friends: take people who won’t ask to leave 10 minutes after you’ve got there. My personal advice: take fellow English teachers with you, especially those who know your favourite authors so they can point out suggestions for you.
The weather was glorious, so it’s a big shame I didn’t take any photos beyond the book stall we visited. It’s run by a lovely lady (whom I assumed is the eponymous Brenda from the name of the stall: Brenda Books); she seemed genuinely pleased to have customers who clearly love books as much as she does. For such a small space, it is wonderful how many books from numerous genres she has managed to cram onto her shelves. One of my friends pointed out that some of the shelves were stacked two deep; it would take a long time to discover all of the treasure hidden here. Probably best to go back for another visit…
At one point I was genuinely overwhelmed with the choices I had: stacks of Wodehouse, Muriel Spark, crime fiction, Christie, Penguin paperbacks. There were also a few fair Folio Society editions in brilliant condition. Heaven.
The spoils I came away with? I managed to be quite restrained and limited myself to three books. A first edition of Cat’s Eye by Atwood for my collection (not sure how many I have now), an(other) Agatha Christie and a(nother) green Penguin paperback.
Some might argue I need to broaden my horizons, but I have ultimate favourites and buying another of those makes me happy.
So happy in fact, that when buying books I have this stupid grin on my face:
And to top it all off, I came home to a new pair of beautiful book earrings:
I think I may have to add Brenda’s Books to my Favourite Bookshops Around The World page…