Postcards above: Book-cycle, Exeter, 11 years old, all books available for voluntary donation. Aging sink and free seeds on staircase. Bought 'Haroun and the Sea of Stories' and 'Sailing in China'.
Postcards below: Topsham Bookshop, 25 years old, 5 rooms, hardbacks in the basement. Bought 'Elements of Semiology'.
Some people collect books. Some of us also collect bookshops. To get lost in a book goes hand-in-hand with getting totally disoriented within a wall of titles. The right-angled spines throw us into a zero-gravity, Escher-like world, where up no longer matters, and hours pass with head tilted. "Bookshop neck" is a real affliction.
Sometimes it seems incredibly strange to distill a bookshop down to an electronic screen storefront, but then I guess some people think it's weird to venture into an entire building to choose a bunch of words. Maybe bookshops will become a middle class 'experience' in the future, like Escape Rooms and Theme Parks.
Extra One. I've mentioned Craig Mod for his newsletter article before, but this week he's embarking on a very long walk across Japan, and is sending out daily updates via SMS. I've signed up and been enjoying the daily postcard update, as well as spending a few pennies to reply back for when he finishes. It's an interesting, novel approach to 'social' media - perhaps 'connected presence' is a better term? - and it's great to see Craig playing with different media approaches like this.
Extra Two. I tore through 'The Rights of the Reader' by Daniel Pennac recently, translated by Sarah Adams. I saw a poster with Quentin Blake illustrations for the 10 Rights in Lewes library some years ago, ordered the book a few months ago, and read it this week. It's a fantastic, romping, passionate piece, reinvigorating my old, childish love of reading - reading as a chaotic exploration of worlds, rather than an academic or commercial undertaking. Definitely recommended.