One bonobo's view of the world...and stuff.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My favourite shop

I had a birthday trip around the 2nd hand bookshops clustered around Glasgow's Otago Street. There are three: Caledonian Books on Great Western Road (opposite IJ Mellis, Cheesemonger); Thistle Books;...those two are good, and Thistle especially is good at having in stock what you're looking for. But they're a bit too well-organised for my tastes. Best of all is...

It's a little tricky to find if you've never been before, down a shabby wee lane. See this Google Map. Or look out for this landmark:

This is the bibliophile heaven that awaits you inside:

I'm guessing that at one time they tried to categorise and alphabetise everything properly - but they've long since abandoned that idea and gone for the 'Loose Piling' method. There were several minor avalanches when I was in. Useless if you've a particular title in mind, obviously, but book lovers can have a wonderful time mining in the stacks. "Ooh! There's another title that I simply have to have, despite never having heard of it a second ago." And I like the way the floor slopes in different directions and threatens to give way when you walk.

What I bought:

Two titles for my collection of 'Textbooks for languages I have no intention of learning':

  • Colloquial Mongolian
  • Teach Yourself Swahili

Other finds (from there and Thistle) were:

Believe me - I could have bought a lot more!

Oh - I did buy some Lancashire and Cheshire cheese, too.


Anonymous said...

Hey, belated happy birthday! When was it?

There's a second-hand bookshop very similar-looking (but much smaller) across the street from me. There is just enough room for one or two customers and the stacks of books on the floor hide most of what's crammed into the bookshelves, but I reckon the owner knows just where everything is.

Oh, and it's really funny teaching my students to say 'thistle'... *evilgrin*

I've been curious about 'A Heartbreaking Work...' so I'll check it out on Amazon.

Sounds like you had a fabulous day - and cheese too!

Anonymous said...

Uncanny - I was just wondering at the weekend whether V&R (aka Burke & Hare) still existed! It's been something like a quarter of a century since I last visited, and it hasn't changed a bit.

Anonymous said...

In Rochester - not far from me, we have a version of the same type of thing - Baggins -

Reasonably categorised, but it takes a lot to get me out of there once I'm in!

Anonymous said...

Wasn't expecting that last comment to display like that - sorry

BBJP said...

Or that

Anonymous said...

Took a photo of the one I mentioned earlier... it's called Trueque, which means barter in Spanish.


Edward the Bonobo said...

Aaah...heaven. Exactly how a bookshop should be.