A new bookshop has recently opened in Herne Hill, which has for the first time caused me to question my highly successful “no new books” policy. We already have an Oxfam shop with a good selection of books, and I am a library member and anyway have a pile of about thirty unread books sitting in the flat, all of which are good reasons for not buying any new books at all, let alone new books at full price, which in Herne Hill Books they mostly are.
And yet. I’d like them to do well, and not have to close down in six months’ time because everybody thinks the same way as me. Apart from anything else, you can’t give library books or Oxfam books as presents, so it’s useful to have somewhere nearby available for emergency birthday purchases when I’ve left it too late to go anywhere else.
I solved this dilemma temporarily today by buying a copy of East of Acre Lane, which since it’s set locally seemed an appropriate purchase, even though it broke the rule. And I think I have a good ongoing solution too, which is to order my book club books from there, since they are exempt from the rule, being too hard to find by other means. I just have to remember not to accidentally buy a pile of four extra books each time I go in to place an order. I will let you know how I get along.
But right now, I have to go: it’s Ronnie O’Sullivan v Mark Williams in the snooker semi-final. Shh.