RARE BOOK GUIDE - THE RUNNERS, THE RIDERS & THE ODDS

23 January 2012

Second hand bookshop window display


I am fortunate to live near a good second hand bookshop Reed Books 2 on the High Street in Aldeburgh on the Suffolk Coast of the sceptered isle. Idyllic but a bit too close to the mighty Sizewell Nuclear Power station. Time and again this shop gets annoyingly good books some of which end up on the web, but many go out in the shop and I occasionally buy some with a view to making money. Reed Books 1 was across the way and closed a couple of years ago - it was run by book enthusiast and party hound Julius Reed kinsman of "wild thing" actor Oliver Reed. Julius at one point had a rave in his bookshop which attracted a younger crowd but drew some disapproval from the council. He has moved into antiques and his cohort Robin Summers has taken over the mantle and now runs and owns Reed Books 2.

A retired TV actor not unknown to the IMDB database Robin has a very good eye and has done at least 3 themed window displays. My photo above shows his latest-- carefully chosen faces staring out of the window. He also had a great window entirely full of Britain in Pictures - apparently when shown like this en masse they sell well. He also had a window display of Teach Yourself books, covered in an earlier posting. The subject of displays in bookshop windows is not without interest-- very few shops pay a lot of attention to staging. Robin consciously sets aside books for his window and it pays off.



In a display in his shop window of books with bizarre or unfortunate titles I picked up a Scouts in Bondage (in dust wrapper) for £20. It is rare thus and the profit might pay for one night in a half decent London hotel, and possibly a meal - but I am not selling at present.. If any readers have photos of thematic bookshop displays please send them in. We are doing a sports window for the London Olympics this July... slightly predictable but almost obligatory.

7 comments:

Jimmy said...

I didn't even know that second-hand bookshop windows could be transparent...

Post Mortem Books said...

Bookshop windows are too often overlooked by the enthusiastic seeker after the wondrous things. There was an occasion many moons ago when a fellow dealer and I landed up at Hall's Bookshop in Tunbridge Wells. As we both worked a similar seam of modern first/crime fiction there were many anxious moments as we looked over each other's shoulders wondering if our competitor was making off with a gem or two. Eventually he left to hot foot it to the next bookish destination (in the days when one could move through six or seven shops in one area in a day) and I sauntered out of the shop empty-handed. Pausing for a moment to peer into the window I suddenly noticed a copy of Agatha Christie's Dumb Witness - in a dustwrapper. And a first. The price was a fraction of what I was prepared to pay. Frabjous joy!

shannon said...

While not in the store window, Adobe Books in San Francisco, CA had an artist rearrange all their books by color: http://www.missionmission.org/2010/05/28/whos-to-blame-when-a-local-business-closes/
Interesting idea!

John Benford said...

Well it closed a week or two ago. Anyone know the story behind this?

Jot101 said...

No problem - the shop in Aldeburgh has 'popped up' further down the high street (opposite AM market) - great prices!

John Benford said...

Good - perhaps a note in the window of the old shop might be an idea?

Muneer Ahmed said...

I really impressed after read this because of some quality work and informative thoughts . I just wanna say thanks for the writer and wish you all the best for coming!. 3m climate control window tinting