One of the things I most enjoy while on holidays (sad obsessive that I am) is the opportunity to visit second hand bookshops / charity shops that are new to me. What purpose this serves given the fact that I have already got at least a decades worth of unread books I don't know but I guess it's a sort of addiction. Perhaps one of these days I'm going to suddenly find the time and energy to start reading at a hugely accelerated pace...
I spent a week and a half in South Kerry, staying in Caherdaniel and Ballinskelligs. The weather was fabulous and the ocean temperature was over twenty degrees, which was frankly a little perturbing when you are used to the sudden intake of breath usually caused by the rather lower temperature of the seawater. However it is a perturbation I am more than willing to suffer on a regular, ongoing basis.
Anyway my time spent in Kerry was not a disappointment and I would have bought more books had there been more time to spend in the bookshops and more space in the car for books. As it was the absence of both of these kept my wildest impulses under control. Breaking new ground for this blog, here is some travel writing centred on the hunt for second hand books.
|Picked up Penguins|
A Sunday market at the cafe on Ballinskelligs beach had another bookseller from Valentia who told me he does most of his selling online. He heartily recommended the two books I bought, Darkmans by Nicola Barker and The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker. He was knowledgable and interesting to talk to but I can't find the card which I took so he will have to remain anonymous.
In Kenmare I briefly visited another cafe/bookshop combo, this time a vegetarian cafe and bookshop run as a co-op. The Bookstop Cafe is somewhere I'll be visiting if I make it to Kenmare again. The food looked good (and the online reviews concur) and the selection of books looked like it would have thrown up more interesting discoveries. My very brief visit turned up a nice Penguin copy of The Mulatta & Mr Fly by Guatemalan Nobel Prizewinner Miguel Angel Asturias.
In Cahersiveen I came across a small shop totally jam-packed with books which I could quite happily have spent a day in. It would have taken some time to work out how to reach many of the books and it was quite puzzling how many of the books resisted the pull of gravity. I uploaded all the photos by mistake but, taking it as a happy mistake have decided to leave them here as a kind of photo essay, not that the photos are much good. The use of every last square inch and in particular the tottering shelves made of cardboard crates suggest a way of keeping overheads low which seems ever more important as bookshop after bookshop disappears. They also seem to have scrimped a little on the design and execution of their signage and are calling on divine assistance as well.
It is also just a few doors down from a very well stocked charity shop. If only it was a little closer...
|Love that sign. Caught my eye from distance.|
|The window ledge.|
|Showing up the vanity and extravagance of my Ikea bookshelves. While people throw away the makings of bookshelves every day!|
|Low overheads but high overhead.|
|That call for divine aid.|
|Maybe Padre Pio will help us out two books in the one place?|
Here is the rest of my holiday booty, by the way. Fifteen books in total. Not too out of control. Given the temptations...