I love spending time in bookshops. Whenever we have a day out or shopping trip, I have to visit at least one bookshop. It’s usually more. I can’t resist.
As well as reading, I love the smell of books. I love being surrounded by books. I love buying books. I’ve written about my book-buying addiction before. In fact, I’ve been so focused on getting my book-buying under control that I haven’t allowed myself the luxury of visiting a bookshop for three months. Three months! Three whole months! That’s forever.
When I realised how long it had been I almost went into shock.
‘You went to Waterstones in Sheffield for a book launch,’ Chris said. ‘That was only last month.’
‘It doesn’t count,’ I said. ‘I didn’t buy anything.’
‘You did! You bought me a book for Valentine’s day.’
David Mitchell’s Number9dream. I’d ordered it through click and collect to make sure I didn’t buy anything else.
‘And you bought the book from the launch,’ Chris said.
Esperanza Street by first-time novelist, Niyati Keni.
‘It would be rude to go to a book launch and not buy the book,’ I said.
‘And you ordered books online.’
I had. In fact several books that I absolutely needed for my university studies. I’d also bought one or two on my kindle, but that doesn’t count.
‘What I’m trying to say is that I haven’t spent quality time in a bookshop for ages.’
I’d missed the experience of actually being in a bookshop. I’d missed the enjoyment of browsing, seeing what books are there, appreciating the displays and the smells, taking your time to select the book you will read next.
And once I’d started to think about not going into a bookshop for so long, I couldn’t stop thinking about going into one. I really needed some bookshop therapy.
‘It’s a long time,’ I said. ‘I deserve a treat.’
This past weekend we headed to the coast, to the seaside town of Whitby, North Yorkshire. Whitby is famous for its abbey, Captain Cook and the association with Dracula. It also has some rather lovely bookshops.
The Whitby Bookshop, Church Street, and Endeavour Books, Grape Street, are my favourites. The Whitby Bookshop is modern, bright and spacious with beautiful book and stationery displays. Endeavour Books is packed floor to ceiling with second-hand books. Space may be limited but they make the most of it with corner sections for all types of books. Both bookshops are fantastic. I purchased four books including a pretty hardback of Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird. But it wasn’t really about buying books it was more about the experience of visiting a bookshop. And, having not spent time in a bookshop for a few months, it was wonderful to finally be among the shelves.