Needless to say, studying history, I have a deep love and appreciation for books and bookshops . . . not always booksellers, but they don’t ruin the experience too much. A good friend of mine was part of the team who produced a short film depicting the world without books (*GASP*), and it has appeared on the Huffington Post website. So, I thought I would advise anyone who likes books – or quintessential English-bookshop scenery – to give it a look.
It is a great watch for anyone who buys books or has ever got lost in a bookshop labyrinth; the kind of bibliorinth (new word!) in which a book shaped Minotaur might appear from round the corner at any moment – you know the kind of shop! Or maybe that’s just me?
Or, like the boy in the film, you look to find a book with its own history, with messages of love to recipients or letters and postcards to friends and family. Snippets of everyday life from people long gone, who have no connection to you at all, other than the book in your hand.
For me, my biggest book buying regret was whilst I was in a second hand book department of a charity shop in Bedford. They had a section on religion in which I found a book from the turn of the 20th century which had been annotated and underlined by the first owner; it was the Bible. It was no longer a symbol of a religion but had become a perfect embodiment of that one person’s faith and relationship with their beliefs, a piece of personal history that will not be captured by the history books in years to come. It was a shame I only had £2 on me, like all faiths and beliefs this book came at a price, and one I could not afford to pay.
Oh well, on to the next book shop, whilst they are still around!