My name is Chiara and I am a Bookworm.
I am here today to ask, myself, more than any of you, am I picky when it comes to bookshops?
I think of all the bookshops that I have ever visited there are just four that I would choose to go back to.
One is a brand. You all know my love of Waterstones. My friend when she goes out anywhere with me, whether it is for the day or we go on holiday, she checks where the nearest Waterstones is and if it is likely that I will find my way into one and budgets time for me to browse my way through the entire shop. Depending how patient she is being with me on that particular day depends whether I get an hour, or five minutes.
The other three are independent bookshops that if I am ever near them you couldn’t stop me from going in and browsing their wares. The first and the only famous one of the three is Shakespeare and Company in Paris, France. I can’t remember if I have mentioned this before but I lived in Paris for a year and while there I lived not very far from Shakespeare & Co.
The shop is amazing inside and out. It has such an old-worldly charm that I just can’t get enough of. On Sunday evening, if I had time I would join the poetry readings or sometimes during the day I would fin my way to the little desk that overlooked the Seine and Notre Dame and write to my hearts content. Sometimes I would even curl up with a book and the cat that roams the upstairs rooms.
I don’t think I could get a picture of it, even if I tried but I would sometimes walk past during the busiest times of the tourist season and find people queuing out of the door to get in and like most tourist attractions in Paris on this busy day you would have to let the security guard check your bag.
Independent bookstore number 2 is located in a small Lake District town and the last place you would expect to find one of the best bookshops. It is called Daisyroots Books and it is a second-hand bookshop. In general I don’t like second hand bookshops because there is all these dusty old books on topics that have absolutely no interest to me. And Daisyroots looks exactly the same way when you walk in and then you disappear downstairs and that’s where the best part is for me. Upstairs has some rare and amazing books, books that you could pay hundreds of pounds for, but downstairs is all YA books, fantasy and mystery books. Floor to ceiling. And of all these genres there are so many first editions. When I first discovered this bookstore in my teens I tried to convince my mother to let me have some of these first editions but she very quickly convinced me that I don’t look after my books well enough and any first editions that I would buy would lose some or all of their value with the way I treat them.
The final bookstore is just a small one that I have only been in once. My cousin took me there while I was staying with them in London one weekend. The best thing about this bookstore is that the people, or rather person (I only met one member of staff there), knows what he is talking about when it comes to books. He knows books and he knows authors and he can recommend the best books to read.
But I digress.
Now that I have told you about my favourite bookstores do you think I am picky. Out of all the bookstores I have ever visited, I have four, and the rest I would be perfectly happy to never visit ever again.
Finding a good bookstore is hard work. There is the atmosphere, the staff (their knowledge) the building, reading spots. For some reason reading spots are hard to find. Shakespeare & Co and the little shop I visited in London had good reading spots, but most of the time when I go to Waterstones I plonk myself down on the floor and read and browse from there.
When I was younger I would remember every Sunday after Christmas my family and I would go to our nearest Waterstones and spend our vouchers that had been gifts for Christmas. We would spend about two hours there, browsing and reading and as we all settled on what books we wanted to read we would find our way to the sofa which was just bi enough for the four of us and whittle down our choices (always a difficult feet).
I do believe I am done with my little rant/confession/release of energy. What do you think? Am a I picky when it comes to bookshops?