11 March 2013
You Will Be Missed, Nicholas Hoare
There was a bit of happiness in my last trip to Nicholas Hoare though. Looking high up on the shelves I spied a copy of Elizabeth Bowen's To the North; I have this very shop to thank for my introduction to her writing. Then I spied a new cover on a shelf even higher. This called for pulling over the library ladder and an excuse to climb its rungs one last time. I had no idea that The Hotel had been reissued and it's one of the few works by Bowen that I haven't squirreled away. Ashamedly, it was also one of the first times in ages that I didn't pause to wonder what the cost would be from an internet book site. This book was going to be my souvenir, if you like, of a farewell visit. While Nicholas Hoare is retiring to a gorgeous property in Nova Scotia the demise of his shop is in part to just such a sentiment; spend cosy time in a gorgeous bookshop and then go home and click 'check-out now' on a book-selling website. Thinking about it for a minute I am so glad that Persephone Books is as much an internet business as they are cosy shop proving that the two can successfully co-exist. Alas, despite all the hope in the world, there was no offer forthcoming to take over Nicholas Hoare so as of April 1 the doors will close buy my fond memories will carry on. Many thanks to the wonderful staff for their friendly professionalism and literary knowledge over the years, you will most definitely be missed.