Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Archive Bookstore

Five minutes walk from my apartment, on Bell St, between the Marylebone and Edgware Rd tube stations, there is a small bookshop with a basement: Archive Books and Music.

It is just as second-hand bookshops should be: cramped, messy, disorganised, books pouring out onto the street, and with that 'old book smell'. 

With a fantastic array of art books, philosophy tomes and novels, all very reasonably priced, floor to high-ceiling shelves and teetering piles of boxes hold endless promises of hidden gems. "A browser's delight!" indeed.

Down a flight of winding stairs is the basement where a plethora of used sheet-music - vocal, orchestral and otherwise - towers around a wonderfully old, out-of-tune piano. Music is heard from this dark basement as you browse away the hours upstairs, overhearing the owner and his assistant (dressed in a thick apron as if he were a carpenter) as they natter away with regulars on an assortment of topics. I will surely become one of those regulars, before too long.