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Carlos Allende

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I have great news for EVERYONE.

Carlos Allende

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So ...you know your book case? Full of books that you've _naturally_ accrued just by being alive, and being interested in _something_ in the world? I don't care exactly what kind of books. It doesn't matter.  Turns out that _none of them_ are worth under £15. And if there's a specific, niche subject you're into? Ho-ho _(sings, 'You're in the money')_

The reason for this post: well, y'know that little bookshop in the Wye Valley, between Monmouth and Chepstow? _YES,_ it's opposite the office with the soul-disturbingly frightening taxidermised animals, but just ignore those. The one that was always really magical, because it was on a five mile stretch of pine-strewn road that didn't even have any newsagents? And the books were all CHEAP, and it felt like you were looking around a bookshop in a dream?

Well, it's been taken over by some very, very conceited nerd women ('Stella' and 'Rose'). Imagine a large charity shop, like an Oxfam bookshop, and they randomly remove 50% of the stuff (like a very parochial version of Thanos),--leaving whole empty shelves!?--  and then raise the prices on everything else to a mysterious, prohibitive level. I just don't understand. I would understand if this was some yuppie suburb of cosmopolitan London, where they pay £5 to eat Frosties out of a shoe ...this is a small bookshop in the middle of nowhere. It should be a working class operation, scraping a living. It shouldn't be pushing its luck with conceit.

Here's the thing. You get those ultra-scavvy eBay booksellers that sell 10p ex-library stock for £2.49, and send them out in blue clingfilm. Then you get pretentious full price bookshops like Waterstones. That's the scale you should use. Oh, I mean, if you look at the website https://stellabooks.com/ it gives you the impression their shop is all rare and collectable. Well, admittedly, they do have an exclusive 'roped off' section ..but the two upper floors? Just contain ubiquitous, normal books. Not antiques. Not first editions (what's the big deal about first editions anyway? You're _literally_ judging a book by its cover). These are just the regular, non-fiction books you'd see if you randomly walked into anyone's house. Books about sport, about travel, about the military -- but don't think plush 'Jane's' reference books --these are just Osborne-style cash-in books, written by scholars, admittedly, but ...scholars exist. Their 20-years-dated insight doesn't cost £30 a pop. It's not the same as getting a signed photo of Jaqueline Pierce from Blakes 7. 

Y'know what? It almost makes me side with the "What y' reading for?' Waffle Waitress from Bill Hicks.

And before long, I will use voodoo to make those taxidermised animals next door come to life, and climb through the book shop letter box, and maraud those conceited auld women. 

 

 



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