A bookish weekend in Southend

I was in Essex over the weekend, for reasons chiefly romantical in nature, and I only got back Tuesday. On my way through London, I spent what felt like days in Foyles. I narrowly escaped with only one new book – and it’s a present (for somebody else) so that’s totally fine. Also stopped off at Forbidden Planet, and bought another book present. I hope all of my friends and family are resigned to this book-giving thing.

Anyway, it’s surprising I wasn’t already bookshopped out, considering my Saturday in Southend, which I spent on a bookshop crawl. I visited no fewer than four independent bookshops (and bought no books at all, sadly):

JACQSON DIEGO STORY EMPORIUM, a children’s bookshop that always has super enticing window displays! When I went in, they also had loads of dinosaurs. It’s little but it’s lovely, and run on a not for profit basis. Worth popping in if you’re on the Hamlet Court Road. (I’ve walked past it so many times without going on, and that is a waste.)

THE BOOKSHOP EXPERIENCE on the London Road seems to be new – I got very excited by the prospect of a bookshop experience, and insisted we go in. There’s a really good selection of second-hand books, including charming old editions of things. The Christmas decorations were also excellent.

LEIGH GALLERY BOOKS is another second-hand book store. If I knew more about antique books, I’d be able to tell you plenty of exciting facts about it. They also stock Folio Editions, presumably just to make me cry. I did buy a nice copy of The Wizard of Earthsea here once. Also, the picture at the top of this blog was taken in this bookshop, so that in itself must be a recommendation.

THE BOOK INN is great! We love the Book Inn, because the Book Inn serves cake, and by this point in the day we were getting pretty peckish. There are also reportedly jacket potatoes available. They also sell books here, which is always a good thing, though I didn’t peruse much – seemed to be a good general selection of stock, and the website tells me you can order a book and have it waiting for you within 24 hours!

All these wonderful places have been hiding away in Southend-on-Sea, but now I know they’re there I’m obliged to buy dozens of books every weekend.

And speaking of buying books…

So I went on my bookshop crawl on Saturday, and went to Foyles on Tuesday, but most importantly of all, on Monday the angels of Twitter sung unto me, “Hot Key Books are having a Christmas sale!” and so I went forth and purchased books for myself at approx. 10:30 am.

I came home the next day and what should I find waiting for me?

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Look at this gift wrapped splendour! Ahhh. Obviously, I can’t open them until Christmas Day (MERRY CHRISTMAS ME! FROM: ME) so check back after then for some reviews. My crush on Hot Key is only going to get more embarrassing, but c’mon. Not only do they make great books, sometimes they gift wrap them and send them to my house superfast. ♥♥♥

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