Sunday, January 21, 2007

Valued for content


A perfect Sunday afternoon spent mooching around the second hand books in the charity shops as well as popping into a bookshop that happened to be having a half price sale. Only had a few minutes but what stood out as a real find, not because of value but because it is bound to be a great read, was a 1906 version of Leo Tolstoy’s Sevastopol.

Some people buy books because of the value but that has never really motivated me. If it as old book then what is often more important is size of print because it tends to be in a ridiculously small point size that hurts the eyes after a while and the condition of the book because the last thing you want is it to fall apart on you. Luckily this is fine on both counts.

As I browsed the store I overheard the owner of the shop moaning to a friend on the phone that he had hardly any custom. You read plenty of articles about the financial straits of independent booksellers but there is also the loneliness dimension when they are sat in an empty shop worrying about rent and bills all on their own. Maybe the dream of owning and running a bookshop will have to wait…

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