Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Down at the bottom of Biggin Street...

Loughborough - like many town centres - has a lot of charity shops. And most of them have at least one shelf given over to second-hand books. Apart from WHSmiths and Waterstones, they're the only places you can get your hands on physical books, unless you include certain market stalls that either trade paperbacks or sell on discounted wholesale stock.

My favourite place for second-hand books was the Age UK bookshop-cum-coffee shop. It was somewhere I'd pop into on the way back from town - have a mooch, perhaps pick up some children's books for the school library or something a title I'd heard of but never read. And equally, it was where I sent books I'd finished with.

Maybe a couple of months ago, the shop relocated; it moved to premises at the bottom of Biggin Street.

I've been meaning to pop in for a while - it's not too far out of the way - but today was the first opportunity I'd had, coupled with the fact that the kids had had a bit of a book clearout, topped up with a few I'd read and finished that could be recycled.

The new bookshop is even better!

It's a fabulous little place! Light, airy, clean, with much more space to move around than the old shop, and spread over two floors; downstairs is non-fiction and children's books, upstairs is fiction paperbacks and a few hardbacks. The books are all in really good nick - a bit different to some of the tatty and dog-eared copies I used to buy back in my uni days from the book-house. (Literally - it wasn't a shop. It was a house filled with books!)

There's also a table and chairs upstairs, so you can actually sit and read. Though as the manager remarked, it's a bit warm up there at the moment and the window can't be opened - they're waiting for a fan to be delivered.

I took in probably a dozen books - and walked out with four!

Delighted to have my very own copy of The Last Hero now - I borrowed it from the library some years ago - as there are very few Discworld books I don't have on my Pratchett shelf. Now there's one less!

The others are a bit of an eclectic mix - an historical and a couple of chick-lits, but at £11 for all four books, (Last Hero was £6 - more than I'd normally pay, but this copy is pristine) I can afford to try a few different genres and authors without breaking the bank. And if I don't like them, they'll just head back to the bookshop for someone else to discover.

I hope the shop does well in its new setting - not just because of the charity it supports - but also because second-hand shops offer a much broader range of titles than the average big chain bookstores, at least in my town. (Might be different if you live in a city with supersized branches of Waterstones and the like)

So if you're passing the bottom end of Biggin Street in Loughborough and fancy a good book, drop in

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