Archive for the ‘Second-hand’ Category


Richard of The Mighty Miniature fame was last week kind enough to point me in the direction of his friend Jason. Jason runs Bloom & Curll.

And look at it. Just look at it.

 Want to go in? Me too.

Jason's desk


And Bloom & Curll is more than just new and second-hand books, plates of cake and Jason: “If you want to display fine art, discuss politics, poetry, Kafka,” says the Bloom & Curll flyer, “or have a cup of tea, play chess and plan the next revolution, we are available as a free space for discussion groups, clubs, workshops, rehearsals or a place to simply sit, read and think.” Add to that the writers in residencecosy gigs (and readings) and a beautiful upcoming zine chronicling new writing and bookish happenings around and about the South West, and you have heaven in an ironmonger’s (at 74 Colston Street, Bristol.)


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Found: brilliant little book stall pushing brilliant little books, from processions of spotless old Penguins to stacks of sparkling modern hardbacks. Saturdays on Bristol’s Wine Street and Sundays at the Tobacco Factory Market.



Lost: £4.50 on this perfect 1962 Pelican first-edition of William Morris’s writing and designs. Oh, and a stinker of a hangover. Mighty indeed.


Footnotes: The Mighty Miniature is captained by Richard. Richard likes sperm whales and stamping inky images of birds onto brown paper bags to give away with his books.

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Reading sleeper seats

Every morning on my way to work I walk within two feet of a jolly young chap, dreadlocked of hair and patchworked of pant, handing out free stuff. Now, I’m usually all up for free stuff, and not one to pass up chitchat with a person sporting multicoloured trousers with such aplomb, but each day I edge past him shaking my head, giving him my chirpiest ‘no, thanks!’ and – usually when it’s raining – an apologetic shrug of the shoulders.

And why? Because this man’s stuff is the kind of ‘free’ that gives you that just-scoffed-the-sweet-I-found-in-the-gutter feeling. It doesn’t matter that nobody saw you indulge. It doesn’t even really matter that it’s soggy and bears the boot-print of the person who was walking in front of you. It’s the Metro, and I know from experience that it’s the kind of bad taste that stays with me all day.

Choose What You Read logo

If I lived in London I wouldn’t have this problem. That’s because on my way to/from work (well, when the Underground staff weren’t on strike…) I’d be gleefully taking a book off the hands of the Choose What You Read folks, an army of library-loving foot-people who dish out second-hand books at major stations to make the commute that little bit more bearable. You read them, deliver them back, and then those brilliant people at CWYR distribute them all over again. It’s non-profit and, as my trusty CWYR correspondent TJ tells me, is “primarily a reaction against the generic celebrity spun press that are circulated, and a movement towards good olde book readin’.” And I like that. The next hand-out takes place during the PM rush hour of Monday 6th July.

If I’m lucky, I’ll be there. If not, I will be in Bath and it will be raining. And I might just pick up a copy of the Metro after all…

Product designer Shiu Yuk Yuen's eco brolly

Product designer Shiu Yuk Yuen's eco brolly

Eco Brolly designed by Shiu Yuk Yuen.

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