I’ve started reading Adrian Mole: The Cappuccino Years during my morning commute to work. I bought it from a book club in 1999 and it’s been sitting in a box under my bed ever since.
In a cost cutting effort I decided to actually try and read some of my huge hoard of unread books instead of buying new ones. I’d borrow books from the library but it’s always shut by the time I get there after work. At the weekend it’s full of noisy kids playing games on the internet while the staff are busy chattering amongst themselves. What ever happened to keeping quiet in a library? Nowadays, libraries (my local one in particular) just don’t have an atmosphere condusive to browsing.
I much prefer book shops. Even the big ones on Oxford Street are quiet and peaceful, I like Boarders the best, it’s less pretentious than Waterstones which gives off an air of ‘You really shouldn’t be in here unless you have an English degree and only read litterateur’. Boarders has a much more open door liberal vibe a ‘we don’t care what kind of books you like, come on in’ kind of attitude.
In borders no one looks twice at you sitting on the floor browsing through a pile of books and magazines. In Waterstones you stand or find a chair and only look at one item at a time. Even so, I can spend an age in there simply browsing and having a respite from the chaos of the frenzied shoppers outside.