Book shop

I’m annoyed.  Someone has scared away all the bookshops.  I generally buy books on-line or go to the library so I’m probably as guilty of scaring away all the bookshops as anyone else. even the second hand bookshops that used to dot the high street seem to be hiding.

I think it says something bad about a town when you pop into the only shop that sells books (WH Smiths) and ask them where the science section is, only to be show a solitary shelf.  Admittedly the shelf did have A Brief History of Time and a couple of other good books but it was largely dominated by a book of photographs of volcanoes.  I’m sure it is a very interesting book but hardly the sum total of popular science.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I hadn’t walked past the three shelf units (8 shelves each) of “Sad Real Life Tales” on the way to the science shelf.  This was situated at the bottom of a set of shelves for travel books.

Let me tell you why I find this disheartening.  Robert has recommended “A Demon Haunted World” by Carl Sagan.  It seems to be out of print and I can’t buy it new online.  I can pick it up second hand and I probably will but I wanted to see it and hold it first.  I wanted to see what other books were near it in the book shop.  I want to see what else is available that I might find interesting.

When I read A Brief History of Time for the first time in 1989 it sparked my interest to read more.  I saw Chaos: Making a New Science on the shelf, liked the cover, thought the idea was interesting and read that.  This went on.  I read fiction of many genres, sci-fi and fantasy being favourites, I read autobiographies and social commentaries and every now and then I like to pick up a popular science book and have a good read.  Sometimes I even understand what I’m reading. 🙂

It worries me that my shelves at home contain more science books that the book shop.  Significantly more.  It worries me that future generations will not even have the option of picking an interesting book with some science in it.  Instead they will have only vacuous, ghost written crud from pseudo celebrities.

I am currently reading Comet by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan.  Then I’m going to read Renegade’s Magic by Robin Hobb which has absolutely nothing to do with science.  What shall I read next?

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18 Comments

Filed under Modern Etiquette, Shitbiscuits

18 responses to “Book shop

  1. you’ll need a waterstones or borders….whsmiths are crap for books now!

  2. I really agree with you about the lack of bookshops around. I like Borders and Waterstones (Pinky’s right that they’re better), but I love old second-hand and independent shops too. There’s hardly any left.

    And I’m SICK TO DEATH of seeing ‘biographies’ of Jordan and the like taking over our shelves. When will it stop?

  3. Pinky, it is a sad tale but I popped into the Waterstones in WorkTown on the way in this morning (it made me late) and they really aren’t much better. Having said that at least WorkTown has a Waterstones. HomeTown has only a WHSmiths, not even a second hand book shop. I’m not counting the half dozen Help the Aged, Heart Foundation or Oxfam type shops that sell the odd book. Actually they all seem to stock the same books including The Da Vinci Code. This leads me to conclude that it was a rubbish book and nobody wants to keep it….or that it is only read by the old and/or sickly.

    What are you reading that you could recommend?

  4. Tender, I’m going to get Brave New World now that you’ve recommended it. I wish there were more book shops about just to browse in. HomeTown used to have three decent bookshops, now we have that many mobile phone shops.

    I agree about Jordan and her ilk but there must be a market for it. I suppose that’s what you get for dumbing down. I wonder though: How much dumber can we get?

    Having said that I highly recommend David Hasselhoff’s Making Waves. It is poorly written and badly planned but I laughed all the way through it. I think reading it on the train also made other people happy too. What a guy.

  5. I’d strongly recommend “Confessions of an Economic Hit-Man”.

  6. There is nothing I like more than going into a bookshop and browsing to see what I can find that takes my fancy. I find that buying books off the web can be quite a soulless endeavour.

    However, sometimes when you want a specialist book the only place you get it seems to be on line which takes away the fun of finding the book in the first place.

    Right now I am reading Thirteen Days

  7. Tender, I’m going to get Brave New World now that you’ve recommended it. I wish there were more book shops about just to browse in. HomeTown used to have three decent bookshops, now we have that many mobile phone shops.

    I’ve just recommended you The Trial on that post too.

    I agree about Jordan and her ilk but there must be a market for it. I suppose that’s what you get for dumbing down. I wonder though: How much dumber can we get?

    There is indeed a market for it. And it’s much bigger than the market you and make up. And I think we’ve a way to go with the dumber. It’s a gradual decline and we’re not nearly at the bottom yet. 😦

    Having said that I highly recommend David Hasselhoff’s Making Waves. It is poorly written and badly planned but I laughed all the way through it. I think reading it on the train also made other people happy too. What a guy.

    Really? I’m a fan of the Hoff and make no mistake, but I’m not sure I could read his biography! Short bursts is how I like my Hoff! 😉

  8. purplephreak

    I loathe WH Smith 😦 And I hate the rapidly growing ‘self help’ sections in any of the high street book come coffee shops that aren’t Smiths (I refuse to go in there for books). I’d love to stumble across a small second hand bookshop run by a drunk Irish man and his hairy assistant, preferably one thats next door to a nicknack shop run by a slightly crazy wino 🙂

  9. You’re a fan of the Hoff? I should probably not tell you that I was laughing at him and not with him then. Although, as an entertainer, I suppose the distinction is irrelevant.

  10. purplephreak

    I’m sure I commented here earlier, must have forgotten to click ‘submit’. I HATE Smiths, I frowned upon the people that went to Smiths instead of Waterstones for the midnight Potter launch (yes I’m a Rowling fan, no it’s not just a kids book). I want a bookshop like the one in Black Books, run by a drunk Irish man with a confused and hairy assistant.

    You should read Player of Games by Iain M Banks

  11. I don’t have a book suggestion for you but might I suggest the Science Fiction department at your local library? You can’t buy them there but you can certainly read them. Hope you find your next read!

  12. mylozmom, I’ve read the whole section and the whole fantasy section. OK not every book but every book that interests me or grabbed my attention. My library has this strange policy if getting books in a trilogy or series but not getting the first one or missing one out. I’ve pointed it out but they still do it. I’ve had to order books in from other libraries to fill in the gaps but, of course, they go back to their own library once I’ve finished reading them.

  13. Purple, for some reason all your comments end up as spam. We used to have a really cool bookshop in HomeTown run by a truly ancient man. It is now a hairdresser.

  14. Love the Hoff! Love laughing at him, with him and about him. He’s so available like that!

  15. the whole section?!?!?!?!? Holy crap!

  16. It’s not that big a library.

  17. Really? We have several library’s in our area and they are all quite large. It’s a shame you don’t live closer!

  18. Go back to some vintage science fiction. A couple of my favorites are: A Gun for Dinosaur and Other Imaginative Tales by L. Sprague De Camp, or Earth Abides by George Stewart.

    Cheers!
    ~Maria

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