Saturday, 14 February 2015

Delicious discoveries

I've blogged previously about my love affair with second hand bookshops, in part out of fear that they could disappear in the midst of Amazon's onslaught. However, I'm becoming more and more convinced they inhabit a niche that will ensure their survival.

Here's one such example. When in Chichester, I take every chance to head down South Street to Kim's Bookshop and scan their poetry section. Back at Christmas, I spotted a copy of Conor O'Callaghan's Seatown. I was vaguely familiar with O'Callaghan's work via anthologies, but I'd never read any of his collections. £3 and two hours later, I was a firm fan, ready to seek out more of his books.

I would never have happened upon O'Callaghan on Amazon. Physical browsing brings with it the underlying thrill of expectation and hope that a discovery is waiting on the next shelf, while it also enables the shopper to pause, examine the book, maybe even have a sniff (such gorgeous aromas for an addict such as myself) and sample a couple of poems in the aisle before deciding on a purchase.

This facet of second hand bookshops can never be replaced by the internet, just like the joy of paper, the crack of a spine. But that's another post...

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