Bookshops I Love; Reid of Liverpool

So while I was in Liverpool earlier in the week how could I not try and hunt down a good independent bookshop? I mean you have to when you go away to a new city/suburb/street don’t you, it’s only right and proper, in fact it would be rude not to.

With only a limited amount of time I couldn’t visit all the three that I wanted to, I did manage to find my first destination of choice and that was a second hand book shop on a wonderfully Dickensian, actually make that Victorian as I don’t really know my Dickens as we know, street… Reid of Liverpool.

It just tempts you from the outside doesn’t it, and its promise is fulfilled when you walk through the doors and are greeted by endless books.

What is quite quirky, though what could drive a quick browser to distraction, is that really there is no order to the books at all. Fiction and nonfiction are mixed together so if you are after a specific book you could get frustrated but I love walking along the shelves and seeing what gems I might locate and in what order. So I was in heaven.

Of course I couldn’t leave empty handed, again it would have been rude not to, and I did find not one gem but two, which are now back at Savidge Reads HQ waiting to be read at some point.

‘The Girl from the Fiction Department’ was a book I had never heard of before but grabbed me from the title which called out to me from its spine on the shelf. I thought it was fiction but discovered it is actually ‘a portrait of Sonia Orwell’ George Orwell’s second wife. I know nothing of her at all, I have discovered from the blurb that ‘portrayed by many of her husband’s biographers as a manipulative gold-digger who would stop at nothing to keep control of his legacy. But the truth about Sonia Orwell – the model for Julia in nineteen eighty-four – was altogether different. Beautiful, intelligent and fiercely idealistic, she lived at the heart of London’s literary and artistic scene before her marriage to Orwell changed her life forever. Burdened with the almost impossible task of protecting Orwell’s estate, Sonia’s loyalty to her late husband brought her nothing but poverty and despair.’ Now doesn’t that sound like a brilliant book? I don’t think it’s in print anymore. I also love how the cover is designed to look like its battered when actually pristine.

The ‘Selected Works of Djuna Barnes’ is a book I have been seeking out for ages; well actually that is not 100% accurate. I have been searching for ‘Nightwood’ since I read about it in Kate Summerscale’s ‘The Queen of Whale Cay’. Now my searching has paid off and I have an omnibus of three of her works, let’s hope I like her.

Anyway I thought that Reid of Liverpool was quite a find. If you are ever in the city do pop in. You can find more details about it here.

11 Comments

Filed under Bookshops I Love

11 responses to “Bookshops I Love; Reid of Liverpool

  1. I’m glad you found yourself a couple of early birthday presents!

  2. piningforthewest

    That’s my sort of shop, I can just about smell it. I’ve taken a note of it and I might have to pay Liverpool a visit on our up and coming road trip to England. Thanks.

  3. Lisa

    No one does magical, quirky bookshops like the Brits. Here in the States I’ve found only a couple that come close to the atmosphere, the best was in Salem, MA. And they don’t build them like that anymore. Sigh…

    Lisa

  4. I’m getting to know Liverpool pretty well, with a friend having recently moved there. Reid’s is great, but my favourite Liverpool bookshop is Henry Bohn bookshop near Lime Street – a wonderful, old, smelly, untidy, sprawling shop with all kinds of books, including a good amount of fiction. great for record collecting too. And often with some cool , rare old guys knocking about. Worth checking out.
    My favourite thing about Liverpool is the pub scene – lots of proper old school independent boozers, but all selling lots of new types of interesting beers. and all with a good atmosphere. Dispensary, Baltic Fleet, Ship and Mitre, Roscoe Head, Gallaghers, Vernon Arms, to name a few.

  5. lovely shop ,all the best stu

  6. Pingback: Simon’s Bookish Bits #31 | Savidge Reads

  7. I’m almost as embarrassed at never having heard about this place as I still am about Sharston Books in Northenden. It looks hurmazing – I love completely disorganised shelves, makes finding things all the more exciting and mirrors our little library corner at home. Though my Dad can’t for the life of him understand why I wouldn’t group the authors together at least – makes them all the more fun to find!

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