The Death of a Bookshop

The signs.

“Buy 1 book get 3 free!”

“70% off on all books”

Empty shelves. Unkempt books. The last remains of a once popular bookshop. The couches and beanbags tossed to a side.

Second hand dealers making away with carton loads of books, emptying the shelves as we browse. The death rattle for what was once a bustling refuge for the lettered class of society.

I had never watched a bookshop close in this fashion before. Imagine the state of Foyles in London if that were to close in this way. It seems to me only a matter of time. Amazon will claim many more lives in the coming years.

The scenes I describe are not in London , but India. The bookshop I saw closing is not a cute little independent seller, but a large chain. But the signs are disconcerting nonetheless.

Though I hope the death of the bookshop may take a while, when it does come it may in fact be worse in London than what I saw. In Kochi I saw vultures – not browsing but taking – books in cartons which may then be resold somewhere and have another life. In London when this does happen, I feel there will not even be any interest from the dealers since they would have long vanished themselves. It would be a quiet affair. There will be offers :

All books for free. Everything must go.

Note: This post was written in September 2013, when a remarkably similar post seems to have been written about My Back Pages in Balham, London.

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Geographically Correct London Underground Map

I had once tried to walk the distance between 2 stations on the London underground thinking they were not very far apart. How one can be fooled by this official map…

I’ve now found the geographically correct map for the London underground! Apparently there are some stations which are so close to each other, its faster to walk.