Monday, 4 August 2014

Another Bookshop gone

One of my favourite things in this world are books.  Old books, new books, fiction, non-fiction, comic, serious, classic books, Sci-fi books, fantasy books, intellectual books.... Sadly my wife prefers that I buy - Kindle books.

Reading has always been a big part of my life, it was my crutch as a child. I was fairly shy and I was always a fan of sitting down day dreaming with a good book. By the age of 11 I had read all the local libraries Doctor Who books and was working my way into the teenage section. In my late teens I put down the books and picked up the controller but with a regular commute I'm back to reading voraciously again.

One of my favourite, yet costly places to go are books shops and I have a couple of favourites and sadly one of them is now closing. Bargain books at Waterloo is in a perfect location for me. Whenever I have time to kill before a train I nip in and have a browse and have picked up some real bargains. Even when it is closed at 6am when I walk by there is always time to window shop.

Sadly today I read the signs that it was closing down - this makes me sad.

I will now have to rely on WHSmiths which sadly sells at a higher price and tends to be more populist. I don't want to buy from the top 25 of Non-fiction or Fiction, I don't want celebrity biography or some generalist history on World War One - I'd rather browse a topic section, smell the leaves, have that thrill of discovering just what I was looking for like the time I discovered a book on the Boer War that analysed the contribution of Kitchener and especially at the battle of Paardeberg (which is where my great, great Grandfather fought).

Sadly this is becoming far too common with smaller and broader book shops disappearing and being replaced with populist big companies. Waterstones isn't too bad for that but even then they will shrink their sections depending on supply and demand so I find a plethora of vacuous celebrity biography and books on TOWIE and nothing on philosophy and one set of shelves covering history from the Romans to the Victorians, three areas devoted to World War Two and a seven books on local history but a bloody great Costa in the middle of the store.

I will miss the Bargain book shop, more than a person should really but living in a town devoid of bookshops (seriously other than WHSmiths and a Works) there are no dedicated bookshops - I have to go to Chatham or even Rochester - bugger it I'll just look on Amazon (which as good as it is lacks that book buying experience, it is too easy!).

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