Friday, 29 July 2011

Book trade | Secret Bookshop | The last days of the bookshop

I came across this link this morning. Think of it as an elegy to the printed word. "There are better things to sell. Sell crack, its a better business..... We've lost. I just want to do it as much as I can."

This guy has a bookstore in a house. There is no shop front. No advertising. Its not a licensed store in the legal sense (not sure what the American rules are about this).

This is real, an example of a bookseller making things work for him today, but it sounds like something Ray Bradbury might have dreamed up decades ago as science fiction. A world in which readers must hide behind thick curtains in order to buy and discuss books.

It also reminded me of the bookshop in Shadow in the Wind. Somewhere people in the know go to indulge in a secret pleasure. Somewhere that is under threat.

I've written a couple of posts about bookstores. I have an ambivalent feeling, especially towards the death of second had stores, many of which I feel have rested on their laurels for too long. But there is a charm, a beauty - a seriousness - about books and the people who love and sell them that is appealing. Well, I'm a bibliophile, I wouldn't say anything different.

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