This year I learned that all the independent bookshops I knew in London had disappeared! All that world wiped out… In Sister Write I discovered women cartoonists, matriarchal tarots (with round cards!) and that some women used natural sponges instead of tampons! In Silver Moon I stashed my rucksack with books written by women, back in 1989, when in Spain the only woman writer most people knew was Agatha Christie and they hadn’t even noticed it was the only woman they had ever read. I got books like “In Search of our Mother’s Gardens” by Alice Walker, Lorde’s “Sister Outsider”, B. Head’s “Tales of Tenderness and Power” or the amazing anthology “Daughters of Africa”. Books by black women. I will always keep the sweetest memory of those little bookshops, full of worlds that I could not find back home.
In a little bookshop in Petticoat Lane Street Market I found what could not ever be found! – A book by Virgnia Woolf, “Three Guineas”, published by… the Hogarth Press!!! — which means, actually made by her! (That was the publishing house she set up with her partner Leonard Woolf!)
And guess what: the bookseller sold it to me for 10 quid! Why would he do that? I’ve always wondered. Sweetest bookseller!
Then I remembered how a bookseller in Catalonia who had had the hardest time keeping his bookshop during the dictatorship because although that was one of the very few places where you could buy books that were banned, people kept stealing there! The bookseller was risking his life to bring those books to us, for democracy, and people stole them! 😦
So here goes my proposal: Let’s help small bookshops! Otherwise we’ll end up not having any!!! Near Getafe Central: Vídeo-Librería Odysea, c/ General Castaño 11. It opens from 10.30 to 14.00 and from 17.30 to 20.30. Let’s save small bookshops!
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