Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Little Piece Of Heaven: Browsing Bookshops

me staring into ipod lens in the always buzy
cookery section. No one cooks anymore but
my God do they buy crappy celebrity cookery
books by the bucketload
One of my favourite things to do in a new town or city is to visit the local bookshop. Sometimes you are pleasantly surprised (Square Books in Oxford, Mississippi exceeded all my expectations) and sometimes you are disappointed (Powells in Portland wasn't quite the book/hippy chick paradise I'd been expecting). For the last few days I've been in Victoria, British Columbia and I've really enjoyed visiting Munro's Books on Government Street which is conveniently close to two different chocolate shops and a Scottish pub called Bard and Banker which sells pints of heavy - books, chocolate and beer: heaven must look very much like this don't you think? 
Munro's only had 1 copy of one of my books but I suppose 1 is better than none and they did have a nice selection of books from friends and colleagues of mine. They had a good sampling of Stuart Neville, John Connolly, John McFetridge, Tana French and Ian McDonald. They also had a great history section full of the latest British and American (and presumably Canadian) releases. There was also a nicely curated science fiction section with a couple of interesting new African science fiction books and the new Hannu Rajaniemi which I bought for the ferry ride back to America. There was a great kids section too and the friendly staff were smart and knowledgeable and able to give recommendations based on your reading history. 
I'd also like to mention the rather eccentric toilet situation which I won't unpack for you here, but if you are in Munro's I recommend that you ask to use the bathroom and you'll see what I'm talking about...