A couple weeks ago, I went down to Jericho for an interview with this biggie:
Beautiful, isn’t it?
Like anyone would, I arrived ridiculously early, and had to meander around the streets for a little while. Convinced that my constant loops and U-turns would make me look suspicious, I stepped into this bookshop:
We first tried to visit this shop last Christmas. I mean, how awesome is the name The Albion Beatnik Bookstore? Unfortunately, it remained closed the entire time I was in Oxford, and there haven’t been other chances to go since. One night, though, we took a walk through the town and saw a little band set up in the shop for a select few guests. I don’t know if they were customers or friends, but the scene was so cosy and cool – it made me a bit jealous. I wanted to go back.
My early arrival for the interview gave me the chance to do just that! The interior is so lovely. At the front of the shop are tables where you can have some tea or coffee (where they make it is a mystery, but it’s kind of charming that way!). The space is quite cramped and a little messy – definitely not like a Waterstone’s. In a very good way. A guy was lounging by the cash register, fiddling around with the guitar, which actually provided a very nice, relaxed atmosphere. The ambience just fit the entire independent bookshop character.
Still used to being frugal, I beelined for the Second Hand Fiction section. AH! The wonderful choices! EGH. Oh, to choose. At Waterstone’s a few days prior, I almost bought at least four books:
At Albion Beatnik, I had to remind myself to BE GOOD, since I didn’t have a job. So I, uh, bought just three. But but but…they were all at least half the price of new books!
And then another delightful surprise came when I bought the books. First of all, I have to admit that while I value professionalism, I love it when indie shops/cinemas just have a casually dressed someone lounge right up to you to take your cash or ticket. In this type of atmosphere, you know that people come out of pure enjoyment and curiosity; anyone new will have to either love it and come back, or not appreciate it and walk away untouched.
But I digress. After I paid, I saw the employee taking paper with which to wrap the books. EEEEE!!!
Oh frickity frick frick frick! How wonderful! It’s like a present! THE BEST idea for book purchases. It’s like the icing on the cake, adding just the right amount of flavour to the whole package. =)