RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS
27 July 2008
Where do you get these books? 3
THE SOURCES OF OLD BOOKS (continued).
8. Street Markets, Book Markets. Most cities throughout the world have book markets. Above is one at Essaouria in Morocco beneath that Istanbul, and at the bottom some very modest books on a clapped out car somewhere in the world. There are 100s of such photos on sites such as Flickr--book markets make good photos. With some happy exceptions they are not brilliant book sources but fun to visit and you might find something to read at the very worst.
In Paris they are along the Seine almost every day, in Barcelona check out the Passeig de Gràcia, London has the South Bank and book stalls at many of the street makets like Portobello, Camden Lock etc., In Penang ask for the Chowrata complex, when stuck in Old Havana you need the Plaza de Armas, in Kyoto tghere is a large book market at the Shimogamo Shrine every August. There are book markets in Liden, New York, Sofia, Dniepropetrovsk (Ukraine) Amsterdam (at Spui every Friday) Jinan, Morbihan, Cambridge, Milan, Ludlow, Venice (several small markets -not brilliant) and Moscow. Even the venerable book market in Baghdad at Al Mutanabi which was devastated by a car bomber in March last year is still going, it is an ancient market that even the bestial bomber cannot eradicate. There is a highly rated Sunday book market at Daryaganj in central Delhi, in Lima, Peru there is a large book market outside the Museo de la Nacion. Book markets are often near museums or cathedrals. Sometimes they occur in small towns and villages especially those much visited--South of France, Aix en Provence, the West Country in England. Under baking sun at Alameda near San Francisco books can be found in the first Sunday of every month market with occasional cooling winds from the Pacific which laps at its edges.
In Beijing go to Ditan Park, there is an evening book market in Madrid (by the Sopia Museum) -also check out Hanoi, Melbourne (Federation Square) Ottawa (Rideau area) Kothi (now in a subway) College Street Calcutta, Lviv, Rome, Nice (Saturdays) Dublin (Temple Bar Square) and Istanbul (Resim Adi). France and Belgium are especially good with markets at Rennes, Damme (Belgium) every second Sunday, and Lyons. I knew a guy who went to a market in a provincial town in France and bought for 10 Francs each (£1) over 60 volumes of Notable British Trials -all in super nick. This series (sometimes known as Notably Brutish Trials) has one or two £100 + books and features also War Crime Trials and financial swindles like the valuable Trial of the City of Glasgow Bank Directors. As Cadillac Jack has it 'anything can be anywhere' and I hope to surpass this by finding a complete pristine set of New Naturalists at 10 Euros each. Dream on.
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I have found good (books or at least keepable ones-- a Russian edition of Byron in English, an interesting book on vultures) in markets in Ulan Bator and Harare. They are everywhere.
"London has the South Bank"
...but the books there are more expensive than the books in most second-hand bookshops. I doubt if you've bought many books there.
I love these old book markets, one of the best I have ever seen in my life been in Lviv. And indeed it is a very old and beautiful city. As I went there last year with these guys http://touristclub.kiev.ua/tours/week-end-in-lviv.html.
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