Used Bookstores Around the World #2
Today’s additions are from my home sweet Kansas and my other land — England. Don’t miss last week’s start of the list.
Used Bookshops in England and the USA
Eighth Day Books - Wichita, KS (2838 E. Douglas Avenue)
I grew up in Wichita, but somehow never knew about this fantastic bookstore until last January. A book-filled delightfully cozy house with shelves lined with old and new books — I loved it from the moment I stepped in the doors. My mom even bought me this gem (which I still need to read!):
Fireside Bookshop - Windermere, England (21 Victoria Street)
Walked by this shop several times, while I was visiting the Lake District last July, before finally finding it open. It may look small from the outside, but there is plenty of room for stacks of great old books. I picked up two sweet paperbacks printed in the 60s — Gore Vidal’s A Search for the King and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Poems & Prose. It seemed apropos picking up a Hopkins book in such a naturally beautiful place. [As he said: The world is charged with the grandeur of God...]
Half Price Books - Kansas City, MO (1002 Westport Road)
Ah yes. The closest used bookstore to my house. Such a lovely place. Luckily for US residents, there are locations in 16 states, so you might have one near your house, as well! I definitely add to my piles of yet-to-read books when I browse the clearance section; it’s so hard to turn away from $1 books. This particular store has probably been the largest contributor to my bookshelves (and dvd collection). The 60s paperback of Crime and Punishment that I’m currently reading is from here. Hrm…apparently I’m very taken with paperbacks from the 60s. Who was doing all the cover art back then? We need a paperback revival.
Harrington Books - London (64a Kensington Church Street)
Whew. I spotted this bookshop from across the street when Sarah and I were on the hunt for Agatha Christie’s house. This is where I bought The Seven Dials Mystery (1958 paperback…but basically 60s), which was especially delightful being that it was just a few blocks from Christie’s house. This shop is stunning, mostly full of antique books — whole sets of well cared for books by Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Charlotte Brontë, and so many more. I was overwhelmed by all the beautifully bound books surrounding me.
One of the gentlemen who worked there even showed me a Bible that had once belonged to Byron — bizarre to hold a Bible that Byron once held.
He pointed out that it was given to Byron in March of 1816, just a few months before the infamous summer when he, Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft (later known as Mary Shelley) vacationed in Switzerland. Apparently it was particularly rainy and dreary that summer and one night Byron challenged everyone to write a horror story. Thus began Mary’s story that would later be published as Frankenstein (another one on my yet-to-read list).