Saturday, 25 June 2016

Reading Away.

Today, I went into my favourite bookshop Eric T Moore for the last time, before it closes for good tomorrow.

I always told myself that if it shut up shop (so to speak) I’d be inconsolable. It's a wonderful place, full of nooks and crannies in which you could lose yourself for hours if you so wished. It has an amazingly broad stock, with just about everything you could wish for. I went there most when I was at drama school across the road, and whenever I did, I’d always find the play or reference book I was looking for. It has an air of Mr Benn’s shop about it, in that it feels a little magic. Or at least it did, until the magic ran out.

When I visited it today, many of the shelves were already bare, with taped-up boxes strewn about the place, ready for the move. Thankfully, it’s not closing entirely, as it will still exist as an online venture, but while this offers some small consolation, it won’t be the same as browsing in person. It’s less tangible for one; I’ll miss the smell of the books, which was comforting in its own way.

A lot of my favourite Hitchin businesses are closing at the moment. Soon, there'll be nowhere left to go. The bookshop is the most shocking loss of all. it's been there since 1965, totting up fifty-one years, which is impressive. It’s a shame that over half a century later it will be turned into a house. It will be a nice house, admittedly, but that isn’t a reason to celebrate. At least it’s presumably listed, which is good.

I said goodbye to the proprietor today, and told her how much I’d miss the shop. She told me how so many people had been saying lovely things. Apparently, one couple had their first date there. That’s pretty romantic. It just goes to show what books can do.

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