“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.” – Sir Terry Pratchett
And that is absolutely true. A good bookshop should contain significantly more books than you could ever imagine it containing, and it should distort time and space in such away that ten minutes of browsing turning into three hours and a budget of £10 should mysteriously turn into £70 worth of purchases.
My person heaven of book shopping is Fables Book Shop in the village of St Marychurch near Torquay. If you ever happen to be in the area I strongly recommend it. It’s tiny, not just compared to monsters like Waterstones and Borders (RIP) but tiny compared to the average living room. However it’s literally packed to the rafters with books, and you always get the impression that the owners have read every one of them before adding them to their stock list. It’s the kind of store where every shelf has multiple rows of books, stacks of books, tottering piles of books! I found a gorgeous hardback set of The Larklight Series by Philip Reeve hidden away the first time I visited and I’ve made a point of going back every time we’re in the area ever since. And there in lies the problem- this store is about as far away as its possible to be from my home town and still be in England. On a good day its a 6 hour drive.