Tag: bookstores

bookstores

Bookseller from Hell Sells Up

I read a June 2017 article in The Guardian about a bookstore owner in York, England, selling his bookstore. Sad, at first, to think an independent bookstore had been forced to close due to competition from a chain or the internet, a closer reading changed both the story and my mood. Turns out, the man, dubbed “the bookseller from hell,” had gained notoriety for rudeness to customers and for charging a fifty pence entrance fee (allegedly refundable if you bought a book) to browse his shop. The village was happy to see the back of him because he was driving away tourists. (The article didn’t mention what drew tourists to the village in the first place but did mention it was the “home of Wensleydale cheese” so come to your own conclusion.) The bookstore had been bought by a “very welcoming couple” and would continue operating as a bookstore. I would have filed this under “interesting stories about English villages” if I hadn’t noticed a link to an op-ed piece written in January 2017, commenting on The Guardian’s initial article about the notorious bookstore owner. The author of the opinion declared himself a fan of the unpleasant shopkeeper. He described him […]

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Is there such thing as too many books?

 My husband claims that I don’t understand the purpose of a book tour (which is evidently to tout my own book). Recently, during the course of sixteen days, I traveled through seven states, visiting 13 bookstores. During that time I bought books. (Of course.) How could I not? Each store was a unique experience. Moreover, it was a chance to talk about we were each reading. The clerks had amazing recommendations and it was impossible not to follow up on their suggestions. One of my first purchases was The Lives of the Great Gardeners. It is a lovely surprise. Four to six pages on individual gardeners throughout the ages – from Le Notre and Thomas Jefferson to contemporary designers. Matthew Beaumont’s Night Walking promises to be a journey though London. The Art of American Still Life was purchased at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, one of two books accompanying a charming exhibit. The Sound of a Wild Snail is a marvelous tale of patience and harmony. Rising Tide was a favorite recommendation in Arkansas where much of the subject – a terrible flood – took place. My mother’s family is from the region and I recognized many of the names […]

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