Sunday, 12 June 2011
A free afternoon browsing in London's secondhand bookshops is joyous. Quinto had just had a huge stock delivery that was worth braving their horrible staircase for. (If you haven't been in, just take each step very slowly as the height, width and depth of each tread and riser seem to be slightly different; it's an old building). A little further down and the second survivor - Any Amount of Books - had those welcome half-price in basement stars in the windows and on the shelves. Going down their staircase is easier: it's just a matter of waiting your turn. When you do manage to join the crowds in the basement, you're almost overwhelmed by the volumes of interesting and unusual that just draw you towards the shelves. A neat heap of boxes is almost ready for unpacking and display. In spite of masses of tape and polite signs saying 'Please leave' people still start to pull at them, perhaps they remember childhood Christmases, though Any Amount staff have come up with the solution: 'Please do not open these boxes - they contain cats' which raised smiles and ensured that people kept their fingers well away. There were plenty of gems on the shelves and the contents of the boxes will be available soon enough.