In Which I Petition My Lovely Followers to Do Me a Favour


Today, in my lunch break, I decided to forsake food and go in search of books.

I have a couple of Christmas presents left to buy and never forfeit the chance to browse.  As I didn’t want to stray too far, I was limited to Bloomsbury.  But let me tell you, if you’re going to be limited to one area for book-hunting, let it be Bloomsbury, because there’s nowhere like it in the world. I visited three old favourites, Judd Books, Skoob and the London Review Bookshop.  All three are wonderful.

IMG_1654I bought two books, The Selected Poems of Emily Dickinson for £3 and Sula by Toni Morrison; two complex and powerful American women.


Sula had a really lovely inscription on the front page from Christmas 1998, when an Alex gave it to a Tara.

In Skoob, I picked up a really cool bookmark, the one at the top of this post, designed by IndieBound UK (I love them!) that articulated brilliantly what I’m always fumbling to say on this blog. It gave “11 reasons to Buy Books in Your Local Bookshop”:

1. You love books and so does your bookseller

2. You’ll find a world of discovery

3. You’ll be supporting your local High Street

4. You’re helping create local jobs in our community

5. You’ll find great customer service

6. You’ll be among friends

7. You can browse properly, not virtually

8. Your bookseller can help you find the perfect gift

9. You can talk to real people about real people in a real bookshop

10. Your booksellers will always be pleased to see you

11. We pay our taxes!

So friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears and let me beseech you to do me a favour.  If you have a couple of Christmas gifts left to buy, please please consider buying books for your loved ones; they’re the present that never goes out of style!  And please, if you would, make the effort to do it in a bricks and mortar bookshop.  If it’s a nice and friendly local independent one, well then all the better.


21 responses to “In Which I Petition My Lovely Followers to Do Me a Favour

  1. Pingback: In Which I Petition My Lovely Followers to Do Me a Favour « angiemflanagan

  2. I sure do love that bookmark! I’ve never thought much about giving anyone anything but a book as a gift. Best present of all to receive aside from a hand written card or letter.


  3. Reblogged this on Independent Street and commented:
    Why should you support your local bookshop? The Matilda Project has a few answers


  4. Merry Christmas and enjoy your reading!


  5. 12. And if you’re lucky, you can pick up really interesting and individual bookmarks! I recycle postcards as bookmarks too. However, one library (apochryphal this, perhaps, maybe I read it in a Reader’s Digest) reportedly found a fried egg as a bookmark in a returned book. I don’t recall if it was sunny side up or not.


    • Should have said: I did buy a present in my local independent bookshop, but it wasn’t a book, it was a CD, as they also sell Naxos label CDs; but as I get a book or two every week or so I don’t feel guilty!


  6. I just bought some more books yesterday for my niece and myself.. I had gone into the shop to buy a pen and came back loaded with 5 books… 🙂 Love “Real Books” 🙂



  7. Agreed! Sadly, most of our independent bookshops are closed in Ottawa–that’s what happens I’m afraid, and I really miss them. So I am making more effort to support those that remain. Also, I ordered a bundle of books for presents from London-based Persephone Books…but they haven’t arrived yet! ;-( I think someone at customs is reading them. Merry Christmas, and I look forward to reading your lovely blog in 2013.


  8. natsgonenuts

    Hi Emily. I noticed a post I had written about books. I thought maybe you’d like this one too.


  9. Yes, yes, yes, this should be done on a national scale. There is so much fun shoppingwith an independent bookseller than a sterile chain store.


  10. What would we do without browsing? I have a bunch of bookmarks from the library and can never find them. I end up using old receipts, or bills, or something, and then can’t find them when I need them, either. I thought the inscription was kind of sad; rather like finding old photographs of people. They meant something to somebody, at one time. My sister was always buying me books she’d found in a book shop. I inherited the copy of the ‘Joy of Cooking’ that she’d given my mother. I use it all the time. I love the picture up top by the way, of the young girl reading.


  11. Great post. I have dozens of books with strange inscriptions inside them and love reading them. Ironically, the one I cherished the most I no longer have, but if you ever find a mid-80’s copy of The Lost World and find an inscription inside from Miss Hesp to a hard-working pupil, give me a shout!! 🙂


  12. Thanks for the ‘like’ on my Achebe review. Great blog. I’m currently a broke library-goer, but if I ever manage to get a job in London (here’s hoping!) I’ll be sure to check out a few of your recommendations.


  13. Thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my book review. good to know that people like them… As for ‘real’ book shops I love them and if they are good whether they sell new or second-hand, I rarely come out without buying. If you are ever in London stop by Daunts, on Marylebone High Street, they are wonderful.


  14. Great post. I received three books for Christmas. I love books! BTW, SULA is a great novel! I read it many years ago. It’s a great gift.


  15. Awesome post!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂


  16. binelectric

    Thanks for liking my blog post! Your blog is really great, all the pictures of books make me feel like home…


  17. Pingback: Homage to Emily « BookishCook

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