Posts tagged bookshops

Why I still love bookshops

I’ve written about bookshops a lot on this blog over this years. There’s a good reason for this. For me, good bookshops have always been inseparable from the joy of reading. When I was in my early twenties and working in a job I absolutely hated, I used to escape to the nearest bookshop and browse the shelves for a different world to inhabit for a time. When I moved to New York, I was astonished to discover huge, sprawling bookshops where they not only allowed you to stay all… Read More

Books vs. nuclear submarines

I paid a visit to the excellent Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green recently. The owners put out an appeal to everyone to buy an extra book from the shop to help them survive and pay off their bank loan. So I went along, and bought a couple of books, A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes and Caribou Island by David Vann. It was the first time I’d been there in ages, because I always used to go to Prospero’s Books in Crouch End… Read More

Rumours of the death of bookshops

I got depressed about bookshops recently. A great little London literary magazine, Smoke, has just published its last issue. The editor/founder Matt Haynes explained: Of the hundred-odd shops that stocked our early issues, well over half have now closed. And when Borders ceased trading just before Christmas, we lost not only more than 25% of our sales overnight, but also three dozen high-profile spots from which to be subliminally sublime. I was really sad to hear this. Smoke is a magazine where I got one of my first stories published,… Read More