Good Reading : February 2016
� � � GOODREADINGMAGAZINE.COM.AU GOOD READING FEBRUARY 2016 16 The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, is the largest secondhand bookshop in Scotland. Located in a big, old building on the main street of Wigtown, the shop contains more than a mile of shelving for its 100 000 books. Amid the shelves you’ll find a mezzanine level with a double bed; so you can sleep surrounded by books! Its owner, Shaun Bythell, lives above the shop with his partner, Anna, and a black cat called Captain. Anna, originally a NASA employee from LA, arrived at the bookshop for a working holiday in 2009 and never left. She has written a book, Three Things You Need to Know About Rockets: A real-life Scottish fairy tale, about her bookshop romance. Secondhand booksellers usually have a store of anecdotes about quirky customers. Shaun recalls an elderly woman who brought in a collection of erotica from the 1960s to sell. After being paid £70,she picked up one of the books, and said: ‘See if you can guess which of the models in here is me’, leaving staff members dumbstruck. Shakespeare and Company, Paris, France One of the most famous English-language bookshops in the world, Shakespeare and Company in Paris is already a pilgrimage destination for many young literati. Sylvia Whitman, daughter of the famous original proprietor, George Whitman, has retained the spirit of her father’s shop, which was, in his words, ‘a socialist utopia masquerading as a bookshop’. To this day, Shakespeare and Company is not just a bookshop, but also a haven for aspiring writers and travellers. Those who are lucky enough to score one of the six beds inside the shop are called Tumbleweeds. Three things are asked of them in exchange for accommodation: read one book each day, help at the shop for a few hours a day, and produce a one-page autobiography. Thousands of these autobiographies form an impressive archive, capturing the lives of generations of writers, travellers and dreamers who have left pieces of themselves behind. El Ateneo Grand Splendid, Buenos Aires, Argentina Originally a theatre, then a cinema, El Ateneo in Buenos Aires is now one FULLY BOOKED Bucket List Bookshop � � � � � � Bookshop � � Bookshop � � � � Bookshop � � � EMILY MEREDITH takes a tour of some of the world’s most intriguing bookshops.
December January 2016