I must confess that I love new books. There is something magical about the smell of untouched pages and I treasure the black marks on my fingertips from the ink. After exams, my indulgence and treat is almost always a new book. That said, I would rather use the library if possible. When it isn’t (you should own classics, I think) I prefer to buy second hand whenever I can. It’s much better for the environment and much better for one’s bank balance.
My local second hand bookshop is Booklore in Lyneham. A tiny shop in Lyneham, it is packed full of shelves stuffed with books on every topic imaginable.
When you first walk in, fantasy and popular fiction lies on your right. To your left is the brightly coloured splash that is the children’s section. Moving further in, the shelves are turned orange and black by several thousand years of genius in Penguin covers. Along the other wall, large volumes on plants, flowers and the Australian countryside are displayed on racks reaching near to the ceiling. Gradually, the plants are replaced by animals and then the wall moves onto the Australian land, people, politics and townships. In the middle of the floor, crammed together, are shelves full of works on folk traditions, philosophy and travel. Towards the back of the shop, poetry, biography, history and politics are stacked up however the wall, and the entire store, is dominated by the imposing rows of leather bound tomes reaching to the ceiling.
I was there yesterday and found five books for under $50. Here is the list:
1) The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
2) One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
3) Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
4) The Ancien Regime and the Revolution, Alexis de Tocqueville
5) The Conviction of the Innocent, Chester Porter QC
I cannot wait for exams to finish so I can read them (although the last two might be useful).
It is well worth coming in for a browse when you need a book or even when you need a break. Supporting small, local bookstores is so important and nothing is quite as wonderful as meandering between tottering shelves. It truly is a hidden treasure.