Secondhand bookshops haven’t always been my thing. I mean, I like them in theory. I love the idea of books getting a new home when their owner doesn’t want them anymore. And I love the idea of not spending $25 on a new book.
But I don’t so much love the reality of the stacks and stacks of books with not a lot of organization. It gets my anxiety up. And often I’m going to a bookstore with at least a general idea of what I want to read, but in a secondhand bookshop they’re probably not going to have it (unless “it” is a book someone was required to read in high school).
With all that in mind, I put aside what are ultimately fairly silly concerns to explore my local bookshop, bookmongers. It’s located in Brixton, just a block or so from the Market. It’s not big, and it’s certainly full of stacks of books that aren’t totally organized.
I mean, come on. If you’re interested in moving beyond the same old books by the same old dead white guys, it’s pretty great to be able to go to a section that’s full of female authors. Now, if we could add in a nonbinary section I’d be even more excited.
I don’t make it out of there without buying a book (because that’s what I do), but in this case the purchases are so much cheaper, and the books are still in good shape. I pick up On Anarchism by Noam Chomsky, and Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. I figure Mudbound is a good choice given that the film adaptation is up for a couple Academy Awards in March.
I’m not sure if this is going to be my go-to bookshop for all the things, but it’s definitely going to be where I head when I am looking for something to read but am not sure what I want. Because after this visit, I do see something else of value that was missing in my mind before: the fact that with a secondhand bookshop, it’s more likely that I’ll be open to the book choosing me and not the other way around.