ASK Musings

No matter where you go, there you are.

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January 2018

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31 01 2018 Watkins Books and Others

Written by , Posted in Bookshops

There is a street called Cecil Court, near Charing Cross, just a short walk from the National Portrait gallery, where you can find some interesting books. It’s a street you can’t drive down, at least I don’t think you can, so it’s perfect for window shopping. I count about five bookshops, although there could be more, and I only end up visiting one.

Most of the bookshops seem focused on rare and antique books. One specifically specializes in children’s books, and has some original e.e. milne drawings of Winnie the Pooh available for purchase.

While I love books, I’m not much of a collector (although I should check to see if they have any old etiquette books), so I always feel a bit odd going into these rare book shops. I don’t want to be in the way, I’m probably not going to buy anything, and I fear I’ll manage to knock over a stack or two.

Instead, I visit Watkins. Watkins bills itself as an “esoteric” bookshop. I assume that means it will have a lot of philosophy and other high-minded books. Clearly I don’t know what words mean, because in reality this is essentially a spirituality and occult books shop.

You may or may not be shocked to learn that during and just after college I went through a pagan phase. I was looking for some spirituality and a way to connect to nature, and that seemed to work for me. In the end I ended up back in my atheist / agnostic space, venturing occasionally into the Buddhist realm with my readings.

This shop would have been 21-year-old me’s favorite place to go. It features a man in the corner doing tarot readings. It has many different sections, some obviously targeting people who are easily led astray (ahem The Secret ahem), but I think if I were to return and visit the downstairs area I might be able to find something related to meditation that could be of interest.

In the end, I won’t be likely to return, but it’s cool that this bookshop is here for folks who might benefit from it.

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