Sunday, January 11, 2009

Barter Books (Alnwick)

This blog is not confined to new bookshops as second-hand shops are every bit as good as going to buy something new. However, in the interests of commerce I will try to keep the balance towards new shops. So help please!

Yesterday I decided I needed to be away from the Mac, twelve days on the run staring at the screen is not good. What better a thing to do than go and visit a bookshop, so I decided to pack up some books that were OTR and head for Alnwick in Northumberland; it's the home of Barter Books, Britain’s biggest second hand book shop. At about 3.15 yesterday afternoon I was standing in line ready to pay for the books I had found during my couple of idyllic hours of browsing. Two were books I had been looking for – two volumes of Rupert Hart-Davis and George Lyttelton's letters to each other; they were the paperback editions that each contained two volumes – so all I need now to find are volumes 5 & 6. I also got several books that I didn't know I wanted.

I deliberately didn't take my mobile with me so I could avoid the temptation to check my emails or any other such unnecessary Saturday act. When I got home there was an email from Cherie.

"I discovered this wonderful second hand bookshop a couple of years ago when I was on holiday. It is situated in an old Victorian railway station, which gives it a lot of character. There is a huge selection of books, which are laid out in a logical sequence; there is even a map to help you find your way round easily.

To add to the enjoyment, it has a waiting room where people can sit down to read, drink coffee and in wintertime enjoy open fires. To cater for families it even has a children’s room with toys, so the adults can enjoy browsing the books uninterrupted."

Cherie is absolutely right. If you want a stop while heading up or down the A1 at anytime Barter Books are just 4 minutes from it. Put it on your list of 'must see shops'.

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1 comment:

jams o donnell said...

What a superb idea Richard. I will have to give you some infor about a local store, Swan Books in Upminster, which has been going for over 70 years now