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Saturday, May 17, 2008

GHOSTBOAT/GHOSTSHOP



Dammit: I fucking love these old New English Library books...that 70s period was a late-flowering Golden Age for BritPulp. This one's actually pretty big for a mid-70s NEL; they're usually slightly novella-length; bashed out in 4-6 weeks.

Went on a book forage yesterday and got some bloody amazing booty, tho this is the only 'fiction' book I bought (tho all books are works of fiction on some level, aren't they?) - revisted a secret bookshop that I discovered a few months ago that is so amazing that I can hardly believe it exists, tho it might not be there for much longer. All I can say is that it's basically an old living-room that's been turned into a sort of approximation of a shop. It's quite a remarkable place and yeaterday was easily the best shopping experience I've had since, ooooh, I visited the late, lamented These Records 'shop' in Elephant & Castle a few years back - a place that was so well hidden you had to have a map to find it. Chatting to the book-seller about his rent and stuff and how he actually makes a living out of the place...amazing...a top bloke. He said he only needed to make £7 a day to break even. It sidesteps any sort of conventional business model that you could think of - it's a sort of parallel-universe form of Micro-Capitalism. Tho, thinking about it, there used to be places like this a few years back - probably still are, except the people that stumble on them tend to keep them to themselves...not in a horrible, elitist way, but because it's such a special, prvate moment, browsing around in the dust and pollen, knee-deep in wrinkled paperbacks. I'll tell you more about the shop some other time; for now I just want to savour it before it goes, if you know what I mean! Didn't have a camera on me, otherwise I'd post some photos. Fuck me, I really am completely in awe.

4 Comments:

At 11:01 pm, Blogger Dan said...

We have something like that in Bournemouth - a bookshop called H. Rowans, which, although it's on the second largest route through town, never seems to have any customers. I used to think it was one of those abandoned bookshops you occasionally see, but it's alive and kicking. The owner's the world's largest crank, with something of the cave troll mentality of bookshop owners everywhere; the shelves are both shelved and piled, and there are towers of paperbacks on the cabinet thing running up the middle. If you stand on one side of the shop, you can see into the basement, which is completely colonised by bags and stacks of old books, as if the ones on the surface weren't enough. It would take me a lifetime to sort through it all - it's probably taken *him* that long...

 
At 11:13 pm, Blogger kek-w said...

Sounds cool - I'll have to check that next time I'm down; tho usually only make it as far as Poole...

There used to be one on Christmas Steps in Bristol which looked like a bombsite when you went inside; sadly gone now...

 
At 6:48 pm, Blogger Dominic Zero said...

You must tell me where this mystical shop of which you speak is.

 
At 11:37 pm, Blogger kek-w said...

I'll mail ya.

 

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