Yesterday was not the first time I fantasized about organizing books.
After a visit to the truly astonishing Gemeentemuseum in The Hague (think Mondrian not Rembrandt) my friend was on a mission to buy toys for Koko, a cuddly cat he and his husband recently adopted.
While he was weighing the merits of low effort cat toys, I noticed a particularly full used bookstore across the street.
Given that I knew most, if not all, of the contents would be in Dutch, I first satisfied myself with taking a picture from outside the shop. Plus the aisles couldn’t even really be called aisles, I didn’t think I would even fit inside. But then, after witnessing the cat toy exploration for about a minute, I thought it might be worth it to cross back over to the bookstore.
Turned out they did have some Engels books. And it turned out to be a bit of a treasure trove. Although it was extremely difficult to find a place on the floor for my size 12 feet to stand, and forget about bending over–I knocked one stack over trying to do that–I wedged myself in for a rather successful and short fossick. It was a smallish section but it yielded pretty good results.
I would truly love spending a week helping to organize a store like this. But with most of the books in a language I don’t know, I’m guessing that would be pretty unsatisfying. I did my bit to deplete the stock but I don’t think it was enough to allow for much in the way of tidying things up. My guess is a couple thousand books would have to be sold in order to really see the floor again.
From top to bottom:
- An earlyish Monica Dickens I had never heard of.
- A thriller from Paul Gallico. To date I have only read his cosy, sweet stuff.
- Speaking of cosy, sweet Gallico, Flowers for Mrs. Harris is by far my favorite. I think I only have a paperback at home and this neat little hardcover was in really good shape.
- I’m a big fan of these Faber editions of Durrell and these are two titles I have never stumbled across in the U.S.
- I pretty much buy any old green cover Virago’s that I know (or think I know) I don’t own.
- Pretty sure I don’t have these Bensons. I know I don’t have Final Edition, which appears to be his final memoir. I have quite a few of these Hogarth editions at home. Probably getting dangerously to becoming completest about them.
All in all, a good job for about 15 minutes in a store where only about 1% of the stock was in English.