Monday, 7 January 2013

The scent of old books- lost forever?

In true New Year fashion I plan to leap into a whole new project. A Vintage Quarter has opened up in an old shopping area near to me and I am hoping to rent some space there. I'm not sure if they will consider me suitable, or if I can really afford it but it's an exciting prospect!



Many people have said to me how sad it is that Salisbury, like most towns, has lost its secondhand bookshops. I feel passionately about this and have to be careful not to start ranting at dinner parties.
Everybody loves the idea of an old bookshop.They say how much they enjoy the thrill of the chase- the piles of books, the wonderful colourful chaos and of course, that enticing, evocative smell of the old books...
" I could go in and wander around for hours"


But did they buy?
It is the same story with  little village corner shops. People like the thought of having them but in the end it is the awful phrase 'put your money where your mouth is' that sums up the situation.

Now I know that many people who are actually reading this are actually the very sort of person who did buy books and who do support the little independent shops in their home towns. So I am preaching to the converted but maybe you will talk about this and if I and other booksellers take that plunge and open up our doors again, book lovers will be there to make sure we survive.



I know that a recession is not the best time to be starting such a venture but surely it just needs a little shift of perception, a small alteration of habit that could make all the difference?

Perhaps instead of a bunch of flowers a pretty book might lift your spirits?


Maybe, if my local friends were noble and had one less tempting cappuccino when out shopping, they could treat themselves to a good read instead?



The Internet is the supreme place for research but I have many quirky, informative books which must surely suit somebodies enquiring mind?


I do tend to give books as presents and the nice thing about a secondhand or Antiquarian book is that it's unique- or nearly so.
 So if somebody has a hobby-






or a favourite character from history


Tea in a pretty vintage cup and a biography of Marie Antoinette, what could be more appealing?
There is a book for every occasion.



You can return to your childhood-






Re-read the classics you have just watched on film





You can think of it as a mad diversion



Or a sound investment.




So all you wonderful, passionate, literate book-lovers out there, heed this cry from the heart-
And buy books, books and more books and with just a little luck and a lot of support we might once again see our villages, towns and cities full of the shops we love and care about.

Hmmmm, I think I've said quite enough for one day. Just be glad you weren't stuck next to me at a dinner party....





(Apologies for using photos from previous posts, it wouldn't let me down-load any new ones)

32 comments:

  1. Good luck with your venture. You were indeed preaching to the converted here (or was it to the un-rehabilitated?). Used book stores are favorite destinations, especially since the big chains have driven out the small independents, who actually had books one would want to read. Sorry we can't add your used book store to our list, but the airfare .....

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    1. I knew my 'blog friends' would be just the sort of people who would understand. Thank you! Jane xx

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  2. Go for it! You're preaching to the converted here too (although can't really even say converted as I've devoured books since childhood), and love to find a good independent bookshop. Given the choice of a book or flowers, it would be a book every time.

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    1. Thank you. Books continue to make me so happy, whether buying or selling but most of all reading! Jane xx

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  3. To start a used or antiquarian book shop is a noble venture and I am cheering for you. Is that you in the last photo? You are lovely, I must say. My hubby and I adore reading and I have written two books, so we support book stores, yes, stores that sell books made of paper. What is the title of that book with the lion on the cover in your first photo?

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    1. Gosh, thank you. Yes it's me, taken about three years ago- I have to admit that it makes me look rather slimmer then I am, the books are holding in my tummy! The book is Andrew Lang's Amazing AnimalBook.I do hope I can start this venture, although I will only be a small part of a big collection of shops. Jane xx

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  4. Dear Jane,

    I think you should open a little shop, and I also think that, as well as books, you should sell vintage bits and pieces. What I never can find is vintage bedding. So beautiful! You could also sell tea in vintage cups, and biscuits, so, whilst people have a drink, they could look at your lovely books.

    My husband has a fantastic library... you wouldn't believe it! And so have I, though my main interestes are poetry (I write poetry) literature, art and cookery!


    Did you watch the movie about the life of Beatrix Potter, in the holidays? How fantastic!

    Jane... you should take the plunge! Open your little shop, but don't just sell books. You have the stock... make it books and vintage.

    HUGS

    ANNA
    xxx

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    1. Anna, you are so clever! That is what I plan to do. As I'm only a small area of a collective market, I can't do the tea and biscuits but I love to mix my books and my vintage. It will be such fun to set it all up, as I do at a fair but not have to take it down at the end of the day! I hope they want me and I can afford it....Love Jane xxx
      ps. didn't get to watch Beatrix Potter, must get it out on lovefilm

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  5. Jane - good luck with your venture! When I lived near Marlborough, we used to visit Salisbury and I thought it was a lovely place - not like the cloned town centres everywhere else. Books and vintage - a very good idea!

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    1. Thank you Carol, yeas, salisbury id still a lovely place but the good shops are gradually giving up and closing down. It's so sad. Jane xx

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  6. Hope it goes well for you and is successful. I love the looks of old books and of course the smell. When I had my antique shop I sold some amazing old books - you would know even more about them than I did. Good luck, Jane. Diane

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    1. Thank you for your good luck wishes Diane. I would have loved to have visited your antique shop! Jane xx

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  7. Jane your post is fabulous. I wish I lived near so I could shop with you. There is nothing like shopping with the independent bookseller. A computer screen will never be able to give us a personal experience. Wishing you much good fortune in your newest venture. Bonnie

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    1. Thank you Bonnie, as I said on your blog, it was reading your post that inspired me to write this yesterday! Jane xx

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  8. Your venture is so exciting - yes, you should do it!

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    1. Thank you. If it goes ahead, I'll keep everybody posted! Jane xx

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  9. Keeping my fingers crossed that it all works well. My house is filled with old books as I have been collecting them since I was quite small. I am lucky as in my nearby town of Lewes there are four amazing old bookshops where I have bought some lovely books over the years. Its so good to know others feel the same about these treasures. Happy New Year. Karen x

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    1. Happy New Year to you too Karen- Thank's for your encouraging words- I do hope it happens! Jane xx

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  10. Love this post. I would be lost without books, always have loved them and always will. Holding them, smelling them, the old leather and fabric bindings. The well worn ones are best, some retain the scent of perfume and cigars. Nothing can replace them for me. They transport us away and set us back down changed, made better. If you open a bookstore I will come and buy! Minerva x

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    1. Thank you very much! I'll let you know if it all goes ahead. It will only be a small section of an collective, selling Vintage things but it's a start! Jane xx

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  11. Yay, Piggly Plays Truant! Good luck with it, I'm sure if anyone can't make it work you can...

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    1. Thanks Lucy- I'll do my darndest! My favourite Ladybird is the 1950/60s 'Shopping with Mother'.... Jane xx

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  12. I recently came across thelifeofaneccentricenglishbooklady.blogspot.com and would like to discuss the possibility of paying you to display an advertisement on the site.

    We have a large customer base of clients prepared to pay to display discrete adverts, contextually matched to the content of the page on high quality sites like yours, and this can be a great way to generate an income without compromising your website.

    Please email me back if you would be interested in finding out more and I will send you a follow-up email outlining the opportunity in more detail.

    I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

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    1. Thank you Damien, I will think about it! Jane

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  13. Good luck with this. I would spend many happy hours browsing and buying if I lived near you.

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    1. Thank you, I do hope ther are enough like-minded people around here who will do the same! Jane xx

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  14. Sending you a burst of energy that will infuse your hopes of a successful venture with optimism and excitement! The vanishing book shop is a misery and crime! I hope it goes well for you. Great good luck!

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  15. Thank you- reading this made me feel very cheerful and positive! Jane xx

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  16. What an exciting prospect! If I am ever down your way I will come in. And yes, I agree, there are so many reasons for buying old books, specially if they are pretty or if you can buy other things in the shop too. I think there's room for a new breed of secondhand bookshops - and it's not just work, it's a lifestyle.

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    1. You are so right in saying it's a lifestyle. I nearly gave up being a bookseller but find I just can't- it must be in the blood! Thanks for your message, I will keep everybody up-dated. Jane xx

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  17. I know this is an old post but I just had to comment. I know exactly how you feel. We have a wonderful bookstore here..Loganberry Books, Cleveland, Ohio. Whenever there's a gift needed or an old book I really want, I always wait until I can make a trip to this wonderful shop. It's almost become a community center. I've spent many a very cold winter day here on Lake Erie enjoying this little escape. Thank goodness for dedicated people such as yourself.

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    1. Hello Kathleen, I'm so glad you left a message. If I am ever lucky enough to be in Cleveland, I shall search out that wonderful treasure house! Jane xx

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