Sunday, 5 August 2012

Adventures in Second Hand Bookshops (An Occasional Series)…

I always count it a day well spent if I come across a second hand bookshop and get a chance to have a browse on the shelves. If I don’t get that chance then I’ll make a mental note of where I saw the shop and I will remember it the next time I’m anywhere nearby.
I love second hand bookshops (and market stalls) you see, possibly because they are where I found a lot of my holiday reading as a kid. They are the only places where I don’t mind a slightly damp smell in the air, blending with that lovely smell of old books that have taken a break from being owned for a while; just waiting for someone to pick them up and take them home. What I really love though is the fact that I will always find a book that I never knew I was after until I see it there on the shelf.

Friday saw me in ‘The Bookshop on the Heath’, a shop that I kept meaning to go into (I’ve been before and it’s great) but always seemed to be closed whenever I passed. The website will show you that there might not be an awful lot of interest here for someone who likes their speculative fiction. There are only a couple of shelves of sci-fi and we’re talking first edition stuff, quite expensive. Give it a chance though, there’s all sorts of stuff here if you keep looking. The ‘P.G. Wodehouse Shelf’ (if not first edition then very close to it) is like a ready made Christmas List for Sue so I’ll definitely be back to investigate further.

The best bit for me though (and you too if you’re in the area) are the bookshelves just outside the store; the following sentence will tell you why. ‘£1.80 each or three for £5’. It doesn’t get a lot better than that does it? The amount of sci-fi/fantasy outside can vary; on Friday it was just half a bookshelf (I’ve seen two bookshelves jammed full of the stuff previously and that’s quite a lot) but there was still a lot of books to pore over. I didn’t do too badly either, coming home with the following…




Because I should have collected this series when it was all new and easy to get hold of. I’ve got a second chance and I’m not making the same mistake again.


This is ‘Black Library’ fiction before there even was such a thing (published by Games Workshop back in the late eighties/early nineties) and I’m interested to see whether there is any kind of continuity to be seen here. I know a lot of the really old 40K stuff fell foul of canon that was established a lot later on…
I’m also a sucker for Ian Miller’s cover art (having grown up with his ‘Winter of the World’ covers) so I was always going to pick this up.

I’m thinking of making this a semi-regular feature (as I do find myself in a lot of second hand bookshops…) so feel free to leave any recommendations of your own in the comments section below, they might feature in a much larger post here in the future… :o)

2 comments:

Jamie Gibbs said...

I bought the Konrad series a while back (from a second hand shop too) and they were really good. Hope you enjoy :)

Elfy said...

I enjoy browsing in second hand book stores, but I think they are, sadly, a dying breed. Love that you got Replay, that is an awesome book.