Posts Tagged ‘Readers Rest’

Readers Rest

January 15, 2013
Readers Rest

Readers Rest

A snowy climb up The Strait and Steep Hill, on my way down I popped in Readers Rest to say goodbye.

Readers Rest is a veritable rabbit warren of a bookshop. The type of bookshop it is a pleasure to visit, where the owner knows books. Not like Waterstone’s, a chain that sells books.

Speaking to the owner he said he has had a good 30 years, but was now losing money, cannot afford to pay the rates and has decided to call it a day. He will be closing in a couple of months. When I looked in a couple of weeks ago, he said people come in, browse, comment on what a lovely old bookshop, then walk out empty handed. Today he said, they are happy to pay three pounds for a cup of coffee, but begrudge a couple of pounds for a book.

As we were talking a customer walked in and found a book he liked. He said Readers Rest was a Lincoln landmark and he was sorry to hear from our conversation that it was closing.

It is a crying shame when shops like this close. It was not only the books, it had character, around the bookshop were quotes from books or on books.

I picked up his only two Paulo Coelho books, very sad, my last purchase from Readers Rest. Each has his distinctive pencilled price inside the front cover.

He commented The Alchemist, one of my purchases, was very popular. I said yes, Paulo Coelho a personal friend. I then told him of my experience of Waterstone’s when Aleph was published, an international best seller across Europe and yet in Waterstone’s they did not even know who the author was.

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Morning in Lincoln

January 3, 2013
Stokes coffee shop ...

Stokes coffee shop …

... on High Bridge

… on High Bridge

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

Steep Hill

Nine in the morning and not many people around.

River Witham flowing at a very leisurely pace, even the ducks looked happy. A big contrast with the fast flowing river the week before even more so two weeks ago.

Looked in Café 44, but did not stop as wished to try a different indie coffee bar today, one in The Strait.

Looked in Stokes on High Bridge. Had a chat with a very helpful and friendly girl. Was tempted to stay, but was going up The Strait and Steep Hill, decided to try an indie coffee shop on the way.

Looked in on Stokes coffee roasting facility. Interesting. More to see when I look in when coffee roasting is taking place.

Ruddocks used to be a good indie bookshop. Now it reassembles a corner newsagent.

Up the High Street, up The Strait.

Olibers coffee shop in The Strait, served by a nine-year-old waitress.

Up The Strait, up Steep Hill.

Looked in Readers Rest. This is an amazing bookshop, a veritable rabbit warren of books. Or was, now a shadow of its former self. I asked, and my worst fears were confirmed, it is closing down after 30 years in business. Man said he had not sold a single book yesterday, none today. He said people look around and walk out empty-handed. Many of my books in the past have come from Readers Rest. It is my first port of call if I am looking for a book. I must admit I walked out empty-handed. I did say I would pop back in on my way back down. Unfortunately I was running late and had no time.

It is very depressing to see a bookshop like Readers Rest closing down, once one of the best bookshops in the country. Thorpes, top of the High Street in Guildford, closed a decade or so ago, forced out of business by the greedy council jacking up the rent. Like Thorpes, Readers Rest a real bookshop, run by a man who knows his books. Soon all we will have left is Waterstone’s, a rubbish chain that knows nothing about books, and they are expected to go under.

Up Steep Hill into Bailgate.

Elite Butchers in Bailgate, one of the best butchers in Lincoln, if not Lincolnshire.

Back down the hill, lunch at County Restaurant. Pies I usually avoid, unless I know the chef or the source, as used to stuff with rubbish. The turkey (I assume Christmas left overs) and leek pie was excellent, as was the pea and mint soup. A pleasant change from the rubbish served up, or should I say hotted up, last week.