Saturday, 11 May 2013

The Library File Goes to Glasgow - Part Four

Second-hand Bookshops

Book haul from second-hand bookshops in the West End of Glasgow.
As previously mentioned on here, I don't buy that many books - storage concerns and removal costs with frequent home moves being the main reasons. Even though I don't buy that many books I am more than happy to spend hours browsing in bookshops. I prefer second-hand books because like Helene Hanff, "I love inscriptions on flyleaves and notes in margins, I like the comradely sense of turning pages someone else turned, and reading passages someone long gone has called my attention to."

Sadly, so many second-hand bookshops have closed down over the last few years that in some cities it is almost impossible to find a good second-hand bookshop and most of the second-hand trade seems to have been taken over by Oxfam Books and Music. 

Thankfully, the West End of Glasgow still has three marvellous second-hand bookshops:
  • Voltaire and Rousseau 12-14 Otago Lane, Glasgow, G12 8PB
  • Thistle Books 55 Otago Street, Glasgow, G12 8PQ
  • Caledonia Books 483 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8HL 
Voltaire and Rousseau is one of those cluttered, aladdin's cave style bookshops where taking a book from the middle of a pile might result in concussion by book avalanche. If you have plenty of time to browse then it's great fun, but if you are looking for something specific, and you do not have a whole afternoon to while away between the shelves, then maybe the more orderly Thistle or Caledonia Books would be more suitable.

I had travelled very light on my journey to Glasgow in the knowledge that I hoped to buy some books and that I was restricted by a minute luggage allowance on the return flight. I came home with four books (three from Thistle Books and one from Caledonia Books), three were purchased with my blog in mind and one, Sea Room, is a book that I have wanted to read for a while and couldn't resist when I saw it.

I purchased A.S. Byatt's first collection of short stories as I had travelled to Glasgow without a short story collection and I needed to read something for Short Story Sunday (as it turned out, I was out gallivanting last weekend, enjoying the sunny Bank holiday so Short Story Sunday wasn't done last week). The grey and white book (second from the right) is a Spanish collection of short stories, Modelos de Mujer, by Almudena Grandes which I bought in order to take part in Ekaterina's Language Freak Summer Challenge, at In My Book and the book on the right, Down to Earth Women, by Dawn MacLeod  was purchased because I intend to focus my reading on garden related themes during June.

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