I have recently moved house to a lovely historic village, and our nearest small town is only five minutes drive away. Having spent a few weeks heaving boxes of books and then trying to find shelf-space for them all, I vowed to buy less books.
No sooner had I said this than I went to the supermarket in our local town and almost next door was this - Aargh! the lovely Carnforth bookshop with its 14 higgledy-piggledy rooms of 100,000 second hand books! As you can see, the door is wide open, and who could resist? When I got inside I found there is coffee on the boil and a downstairs section with new books. You can even buy the gift-wrap and cards if you want to buy a book as a present, or for the musical - indulge in reams of sheet music.
Needless to say, I was in there more than an hour (the appropriate for Lent idea of "shall I try giving up buying books" forgotten) and I came out with three books. As an antidote to internet buying, it is a true bookaholic's browsing experience. Particularly delightful is a room of hardback fiction all at £1.
Though I have to say the writer in me is reluctant to buy second hand as I know how much work goes into a book and how the royalties from it stack up, but I forgive the Carnforth bookshop as it has a very good section of new fiction that you come to first before going upstairs to the used books.
As a reader of course I can't resist cheap second hand books, and the smell of leather and old paper. And the charm of exploring narrow stairways and inter-connecting rooms all stacked floor-to-ceiling with mostly one-offs.
Guess I'll be needing a few more shelves.
And if you are searching for a rare out of print book, why not try them www.carnforthbooks.co.uk