I'm a trainee journalist living in London. A personal blog is forthcoming.
Published October 16th 2012
Books as cheap as chips
In this digital age of e-readers and Amazon takeovers, buying a book in a shop is becoming something of a dying pleasure. When it's so easy to get something to read at a click of a button, and potentially have it in seconds on any number of handheld devices, it can sometimes feel like it's hardly worth getting out of bed at all.
Most people I've discussed this with have said they opt for e-readers and Amazon because of the price and the convenience, but do still prefer actual books. If this is true in your case, then I have the perfect bookshop for you.
Bookcase is exactly as it says on its carrier bags; the best for bargain books.
First impression-wise, Bookcase doesn't necessarily grab much attention. Outside it has a bit of a jumble sale look, with very cheap (usually 99p) and slightly rubbish books in plastic boxes out the front. It still inspires a look, if you're a book-buying addict like me, but there isn't much to be had. This is unfortunate because inside there is plenty to get excited about.
Inside the shop the walls are lined with books of all kinds, with a lot of space devoted to art, biography and travel, and a special section behind the till for all things London. Despite the impression I got from outside, I was surprised to find that all the books were new, but still priced very low.
Towards the back of the shop is more my territory, with a cosy corner of fiction separated into General, Crime, Classics and Fantasy/Sci-fi. The fiction books are usually on a 2 for £5 deal and as well as modern classics and famous Fantasy series there is a lot to be had that is quite current too, such as the works of Joe Abercrombie, China Mieville, Yann Martel (The Life of Pi) and dozens of others. Occasionally you might find that a cover is a strange size or a different colour from the design that was released, but if that's what is keeping the price down I think it is a worthy sacrifice.
There's some well-known names in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy section
They also have a large children's section, which although isn't the area I'd rush to, I think is a marvellous thing. When I was growing up the only bookshop I had close by was the regularly priced WH Smith, and I couldn't afford to splash out on books as often as I would like. Having bookshops like this opens up a whole new world of reading to young people.
I don't know how often Bookcase replenish their stock, (maybe they just replenish it often with similar things) but the bookshelves by the door are the ones that house all the new books that have come into the shop recently. This is a useful feature so that, if you're a frequent visitor, you can easily locate and browse through the volumes you haven't seen before.
All books are brand squeaky new - even the old ones
I love my (almost weekly) visits to Bookcase because there is nothing like discovering something new in a bookshop, especially at these prices, and so I greatly encourage readers to ditch Amazon and pay it a visit. Save the bookshops, save the world.
Lovely. I wish there was something similar where I lived. I read books on my Kindle, paperbacks/hardbacks and my iPad - I sound loony, yes, but the majority of my collection is just normal, old books. I love reading and this would be a heaven for me.