There are bookshops everywhere here. Or at least, it feels like it. And I am definitely okay with it. For example, I stumble across one today on my way to a museum. (That’s right, I’m taking full advantage of not having a job right now while living in a city full of free museums.)
If Hatchards were a person, I think it would be a very traditional, older, white man. Perhaps it’s the age (it’s over 200 years old), or the decor (plush carpet in need of a good cleaning, bookcases that appear to have layers of paint on them), or the staff (all middle-aged white men), but I can’t imagine people having conversations above a whisper in here. It feels more library than bookstore.
That said, there are FIVE FLOORS OF BOOKS. Five. Floors. I mean, come on.
I go all the way up and all the way down, doing a very quick scan. I don’t notice specific cultural studies, women’s studies, or LGBTQ studies section, which is a drawback in such a large space (it’s also possible I just don’t notice them). At the same time I love how large the shop is, and love that it has an entire bookcase devoted to Agatha Christie books. Yet something about it seems just a little too serious for me.
Which I guess makes sense, since it’s surrounded by fancy stores and is just a few doors down from Fortnam and Mason.
I still bought a book, and it’s one written by a white male, because that seems on brand: