The series I started about indie bookshops was inspired by the closing-down of Brentano’s in Paris, but I didn’t think at that time that I would find other bookshops that have disappeared since I visited them. I wanted to recommend the fabulous London bookshop on Charing Cross Road specialized in crime fiction, but I learnt that it has closed early this year, what a sad surprise!
Apparently the owner had to close down instead of selling his business due to the lack of offers and the recession. It was apparently the only bookshop in England specialized in crime, but if you know of another, I’ll be interested of course.
I discovered “Murder One” a few years ago, on a Boxing Day visit to London. Not being one to dwell for long in department stores, I chose to spend hours browsing through walls of mysteries and thrillers. I nearly lost sense of time in the cellar. Murder One was just the place for that, and the staff was indeed knowledgeable!
Here’s an article by the Guardian accusing us readers of apathy, for not going out enough to those specialized bookshops and preferring the comfort of internet megastores. Check out the bloody battle in the comments between people who appreciate the “geographical democracy” online bookstores provide vs. those who like the “serendipitous discoveries”, the sense of community and the “lovely musty bookish feel to it which you just don’t get in the big chain stores”. But of course you can do both, going to small bookshops and buying online, and they complement each other well enough!
On a less sad note, other bloggers around the world have been visiting bookstores too (indie or not): Dorothy in Manhattan, visited 5 bookstores in one day, what an athletic pace! Verbivore went to her favourite bookshop where you pay books by the pound. She doesn’t actually tells where, but it’s in Switzerland. And Kimbofo visited Ireland’s biggest and oldest bookstore in Dublin: Hodges Figgis.