Thursday, 22 January 2015

The Bookshop Tour

Oh I have a friend that is sooooooo going to be like this with me!

found on Pinterest here

All because I have been promising to read a book forever (ok so there is probably more than one friend and more than one unread book but I agree with Lemony Snicket!)

*It Is Most Likely That I Will Die Next To A Pile Of Books...* - Lemony Snicket #Quote
found on Pinterest here

But I got an amazing book for Christmas and really couldn't resist it! It's all my weird and lovely colleague's fault for she introduced me to Jen Campbell and the Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops books. They are books that had me ahhhing, nodding and out right laughing with every other quote, even though I have never worked in a bookshop most things translated to libraries. So when I got Jen's new book for Christmas, The Bookshop Book, it just kept winking at me until I picked it up and sneaked a peak. And another one. Then another, well you get the picture.

Sat there nice and cosy in front of the crackling log fire in Northumberland with plans to visit my favourite bookshop in the coming days guess which bookshop the opened onto?...Yes, my favourite bookshop Barter Books, Alnwick. It did raise a little chuckle. Then I did what every good bibliophile should do, I began at the beginning and continued to the end! This tour by page did not disappoint. It was full of little nuggets of wonder and brilliance. Full of rabbit holes for you to follow, books to add to the never ending To Read List and even a few blogs to check out.

But worse than that (at least for my other half) rekindled some dreams and tickled my wanderlust. I now have a list of bookshops circling the globe to visit and a new Pinterest board to gather my thoughts on for my dream bookshop.

I truly loved reading about all the wonderful bookshops all over the world; the ones I want to visit from Wigtown, Scotland to Storytellers Inc. Lancashire and across the pond to places like the Community Bookstore, Brooklyn New York. Jen even had me wanting to visit Paris, something I have never wanted to do before. But with the lure of Shakespeare and Co. who could not want to take a look in person; finger those spines, close your eyes to take a deeper breath of that vanillary book smell and pick one off the shelf to curl up with for a while.

More than all of the places I want to visit, which to be frank would need a gap year and a lottery win to fund, were all the places I wanted to share with friends. Cook and Book, dine on a meal selected from a cookbooks, at that point I said out loud to some rather quizzical looks, "Oh Sandra would love that." And so many book shops steeped in the history of the Beat authors I just kept thinking Connor would love this one and this one and this one and I could see him spending a night or two sleeping at Shakespeare and Co. writing and more. Yes there are bookshops mentioned with beds in where you can sleepover (new bucket list item I think!).There were so many more, too many to mention. I guess that is why I have been going around enthusing about this book so much. Trying to get people to add this to their to read list.

It has been a long time since a book has had me furiously scribbling notes so I don't forget which parts I loved. Even longer since I wanted to start straight back at the beginning as soon as I finished and a little longer still since I cringed when someone asked to borrow my copy, not because I'm precious I know the person will be careful (she's a librarian) but because I'm just not sure I will ever be done referring to it!

I don't even usually review books but I seem to have walked into doing just that! Seriously Jen, well played! But this book is a bit like the gravy of my roast dinner book list, and everyone knows you can't have a roast dinner without gravy.

Now, one of my most favourite parts of the author interviews was that most ended with them describing their dream bookshop so I thought I would do the same, here goes....

It would be warm and welcoming, light but cosy. There would be log fires, coffee and cakes. The cafe would do themed children's meals depending on the story time theme/author of the month theme. There would be comfy chairs and places to sit all over the place and a young adult area too. I'd have arts involved somewhere, somehow with a gallery space and a corner where people can drop in and work on their art or creative journals and if they use our resources there'd be an honesty box system. Oh and a story time chair, which if you know me you know I would probably never sit in as I prefer to sit on the floor with the kids, but it's a must.

So I've told you my perfect place, what about you. What's in your perfect bookshop?

Today's track, Youth Lagoon - Daydream, is a recommendation by the aforementioned Connor. Have a listen, and a daydream about bookshops for a while. Then when you're done if you fancy something completely different to here bob on over to his blog and have a read.

PS Happy New Year ;-) Better late than never!

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