Thursday, 17 December 2009

The second-hand book hunt

I am always on the look-out for a good second-hand bookshop. Sometimes this search takes me far and wide. Yesterday it almost took me to a basement.

I’d set off with a friend in search of a second-hand bookshop I'd heard about in south-west London. This isn’t an area I tend to visit, considering that it takes nearly two hours to get to it from where I live. I am always amazed that areas can have the same ending address, such as ‘London’, but be hours away from each-other. It’s a big place.

By the time we popped up in that quarter of the city the snow was falling – freezing cold blobs soaking into scarves, shiny wet pavements, and puddles reflecting the white-grey sky. It was a chilly day for book-hunting, but we found the bookshop I wanted to see, and it was small but worth the effort. The fun started when I was asked whether I would like to visit their warehouse to see more books.

I replied in the happy affirmative, and was given a map, and told the warehouse was actually a basement in an unmarked building, and I had to ring an unlabelled buzzer and ask for the bloke in the basement. Oh, and there would be no mobile reception ‘down below’. At this point, perhaps understandably, my enthusiasm started waning.

So, with my imagination hovering between the sort of warehouse last seen in Raiders of the Lost Ark but packed to the rafters with books, and being the main item on News at Ten, we decided to leave it for another day. Curse you active imagination! I didn't fancy being in the film 'Jayne Ferst and the Basement of Doom'. I’m sure all would have been more than well, but perhaps next time I will take J along with me!


Rose said...

ooh I work south west at the moment- is this place anywhere near Fulham by any chance? I think I know the mother ship book shop if it is.

I think you were probably right not to go in the basement however much book hunger it would have satisfied. hope you find what you're after

Jayne said...

Yes, it is near Fulham, so perhaps you do know it! It was a small shop but packed all over the place with books - perhaps around £2 per book. Definitely worth a peek, although some of the books looked like they had been in a basement for a long time. And I am still tempted! J thinks I am mad!