Saturday, 9 February 2019

Keel Row Books

Another walk I took one day as a mini-reward to myself was to visit Keel Row Books on the way to Morrisons supermarket to pick up a few groceries. This was making a 1.7 round trip into something more like 3 miles, which was part of the point.

I was sure I'd written about this place before and sure enough I had, but without a camera. It only took me eight years to follow up on that intent in this previous post. February seems to be the time of year for me to drop in there.

Along the way I snapped a photo of the new hours listed on the gate at Tynemouth Architectural Salvage. It's been a while since I browsed (went 'window-licking') there (eight years again?). Another salvage place, Huscrofts, in North Shields is 'decorative' salvage. Both places are equally fun to visit.

I browsed the books at Keel Row, beginning with the front window. I couldn't get a good photo of the complete set (6 for £75) of The Modern Baker Confectioner and Caterer because of the glare of the glass, but I did find a number of these on I'm none of the words in the title but I do love the cover design.

Inside I looked through the sewing and crafting section but found nothing there I couldn't live without. The fiction section, I noticed, included some novels by Robert B. Parker. I've discovered Ace Atkin's revival of the Spenser detective series at the library and enjoyed them. I may try the original Parker version at some point. 

I never noticed the little bird who stole the 'O'.

I was wishing I had my book list with me and I didn't really know what I was looking for. 

On the other hand it is always an intense pleasure just to be surrounded by books. The other night at the WI the speaker had his books for sale. I saw one purchaser open her new book and sniff as she sat back down. It made me smile. Old books have their own scent - perhaps it is accumulated dust, I don't know - but beyond the olfactory input just the sheer volume of possibilities in a room full of books as yet unread by me is almost brain-food in itself.

I stumbled upon a Laura Ingalls Wilder omnibus, containing her first three books. I knew she was on my list, having never watched the TV series or read the books before (late to most parties, me). 

The lady at the check out was clearly a Wilder fan, being so enthusiastic about my purchase and telling me there were three more of her books if I liked them. I did, more than I expected I would.  

I picked up a leaflet about a book fair in Durham and snapped a photo of the Edinburgh book fair for the WI book group and the bookshop's hours for my own reference. 

The main thing I love about Keel Row Books is that you can see it was once a house and that whole house is now absolutely crammed full of books. It is a semi-detached and the other semi- is on the market. The house for sale is disappointingly modern in decor (I snooped online - don't you love being able to do that!?). It occurs to me that if I could afford the other half of our semi I would want to do just that: turn the other half into a 'library', or maybe an antique shop (where nothing is for sale) or would it be about fabric? Hard so say.

Across the road: Christ Church (Anglican), 350 years old this year. North Shields Embroiderers' Guild meet there.

On my way to Morrisons I photographed another couple of houses for sale to snoop. I noted an odd feature in someone's garden and discovered I could see a tower in Preston Village from the main road, a feature I've long wondered about. With a bit of research I discovered someone else has written about it. I must go back sometime and try to get a better photo, though most of it is now obscured with greenery and I'm pretty sure that some of the grounds have now been developed.

Not a path, not yet a border, no stream it just for decoration?

I can't recall what I bought at Morrisons but I do remember having a heavy, lumpy backpack for my journey home. All part of the exercise regime.

See tower of house behind, upper left? That's 'Preston Cottage'!


Unknown said...

Your posts about your walks bring back happy memories of the miles we have walked together around your local area. Sadly, my knees are much less willing these days.

James said...

There are not many places as enjoyable as a book store. There was a small shop in my town. A sweet old woman ran it, but she passed away and the store closed. Now everyone reads e books and even the giant chain stores are closing. Sigh....

Shelley said...

Vivien - I miss our wandering days! I am surprised you haven't got your knee fixed. I hear it's all the rage at our age!

James - I tried ebooks, I really did, but it never replaced books for me. I know modern people have a Kindle and are happy to have vacant space in their homes where the books and films used to be but I don't believe I will ever join them. I stopped doing business with Amazon over two years ago for a number of reasons: the stories about employees, the loss of Barnes and Noble (not a small enterprise either) and the obscenenity of so much money belonging to one person (well, two people). My village has become a tourist spot, full of pubs, restaurants and gift shops. The bakery, the fruit and veg and the hardware shops have gone. We're lucky to still have a convenience store, a deli and the fleamarket at the metro station.

Unknown said...

Knee replacement may be all the rage but I would prefer to defer any thoughts about this for as long as possible. I'm concentrating on losing weight and building up my quads etc and stamina so that if I have to succumb to the surgeons knife at some stage in the future then the outcome will hopefully be better. Unfortunately that means balancing exercise with overuse. Looking forward to when your US tax return is out of the way so that we can get together.