From Nothanger Abbey, Jane Austen
Sometimes even an English student needs a reminder that she does actually like books. For me this respite from the stress of studying them mostly comes with a reminder of just how beautiful visually works of literature can be, and how lovely bookshops are (especially, needless to say, second hand and independent ones.) For a long time, Moss Books in Cheltenham has been one of my favourite places. It’s a wonderful, haphazard, crazy mound of books masquerading as a shop, and has a particular little corner which I just love. There’s a little stool there, and I have frequently just tucked myself away among the old books that are stored in that one corner, and whiled away far more time than was strictly necessary…[apologies for the fairly poor quality of these photos, by camera was having an off day]
However, there may be a rival to my affections. A few days ago, taking advantage of a brief respite in workload, we visited the bookshop-café Albion Beatnik in Jericho (the artsy bit of Oxford.) There’s a strong focus on the Beat generation here (hence the name) but also some contemporary stuff, and a substantial second hand section. Basically whatever the owner finds interesting, and all put together in a lovingly well thought out shop, with experimental jazz in the corner putting me very much in mind of the music for Funny Face’s café dance scene. In fact there was an atmosphere of quite genuine intellectual bohemia there (possibly aided by the gorgeously dressed girl studying on one of the tables and a man on a sofa pronouncing Marxist theory.) Plus, and more importantly, it has an impressive array of tea and choice of teacups. And they wrapped our purchases in paper parcels. Only future visits can tell whether this hub of book lover-y with its Prufrock quotes on the door and paper roses can replace my original love for ‘my’ corner of Moss Books, which means I shall have to return to both, inevitably spending more money on their wares. What a pity.
|Tiny tiny books...|
And just to make this post even longer (and multimedia) a friend showed me this lovely little book related stopmotion video a few weeks ago, which just cries out to be put here;