Sunday Salon – Books, Wild and Wonderful

This week we turned our thoughts to planning some time away during the summer. I was fairly keen to return to either the Scottish Islands or Hay on Wye, a book lovers paradise. I suspect that, if we opt for the Hay on Wye option, there will be a trade off with the other half for a day of fishing, which has to, in my opinion to be the most mind numbing and boring hobby going, in exchange for a day wandering around the 30 odd bookshop of Hay.

Whilst we were pondering, and we still haven’t decided, I stumbled upon a Floating Bookshop and thought that this perhaps has some potential for a stop off en-route. The other thing I stumbled across this week, book related and I have no chance of getting him indoors to agree to this for the bathroom or shower room was some decorative bathroom tiles. When I showed the other half, there was no response other than the raise of an eyebrow! He did though sit with me on the sofa and periodically grunt as we explored the a great book themed blog. We then came across a reference to an article about a women who spends her time sniffing books, at which point the grunts formed into whole words, which I am sure sounded like, “I suppose I should be grateful you only buy books and not sniff them”. I immediately pointed out that the smell of old books is unique and I find comforting. By that point we were back to more grunts and raised eye brows!
All these thoughts of smelling books reminded me of the most wonderful bookshop I have even known.
It was called Thorps and was situated at the top of Guildford High Street, just after Holy Trinity Church. There were books everywhere, on the stairs, on floor to ceiling shelving, in piles randomly plonked on the floor. It was certainly a Health and Safety nightmare, but, oh the smell and feeling of such a shop. It is quite simply a tragedy that the shop has gone. I am not sure if it was a casualty of the recession or quite simply quitting while it was ahead, as it failed to compete with Waterstones and Amazon. That said, Waterstones is not as good as it once was and is not as price competitive as Amazon. Thorps did not particularly specialise in new books, but with pre loved books and my study still has some fine examples courtesy of Thorps.

About Julie Goucher

Genealogist, Author, Presenter, native Guildfordian, Pharos Tutor, lover of Books & History, Surnames, European Ancestors, Butcher & Orlando One-Name Studies, avid note taker and journal writer.
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1 Response to Sunday Salon – Books, Wild and Wonderful

  1. We can talk all we want about how much we love our Kindles, but you will never see us smelling our Kindles.

    I love real books and real bookstores. I like my Kindle.


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