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.
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.