|Against The Grain
||[May. 30th, 2013|06:08 pm]
We went into Tonbridge this afternoon. Like most British towns that aren't Georgian spas Tonbridge has filled up with charity shops. At this point in the proceedings it's customary to say, "What a pity", but I like charity shops. Besides, I suspect the good old days of apple-cheeked greengrocers, jolly family butchers and ducking and dipping haberdashers never really existed. H.G. Wells (writing somewhere in the middle of the golden age of the British high street) is very good on small shop-keepers and what shits they mostly are.|
One of the shops we went into was an Oxfam book shop. I bought a collection of short stories by Walter de la Mare (a first edition- no less) and a paperback edition of J,B. Priestley's Saturn Over The Water, which- if I remember rightly- is an occult thriller.
Wells also paints a picture of small shops as an economically disastrous enterprise, only to be undertaken by the desperate and talentless. The golden age in his view is a picture of one bankruptcy after another.
So much for the Larkrise to Candleford view of British history.
I know. Shocking!
On a point of detail it's not so much banned as rendered unpublishable by our villainous libel laws.
I love those kinds of places - charity shops, I mean. It's a thrill to find such treasures and wonder why no one else is aware of their value!
Charity shops are great. Ailz and I love 'em.
2013-06-01 12:09 pm (UTC)
Which collection did you buy? I have one that was a school prize in 1952 - and saw the same one in a secondhand bookshop quite recently - they are very dark