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Collected Essays, by George Orwell BOOKSHOP MEMORIES (1936) When I worked in a second-hand bookshop — so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios — the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt Collected Essays, by George Orwell BOOKSHOP MEMORIES (1936) When I worked in a second-hand bookshop — so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios — the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one. First edition snobs were much commoner than lovers of literature, but oriental students haggling over cheap textbooks were commoner still, and vague-minded women looking for birthday presents for their nephews were commonest of all.


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Collected Essays, by George Orwell BOOKSHOP MEMORIES (1936) When I worked in a second-hand bookshop — so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios — the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt Collected Essays, by George Orwell BOOKSHOP MEMORIES (1936) When I worked in a second-hand bookshop — so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios — the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one. First edition snobs were much commoner than lovers of literature, but oriental students haggling over cheap textbooks were commoner still, and vague-minded women looking for birthday presents for their nephews were commonest of all.

30 review for Bookshop Memories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    "When I worked in a second-hand bookshop — so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios — the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one. First edition snobs were much commoner than lovers of literature, but oriental students haggling over cheap "When I worked in a second-hand bookshop — so easily pictured, if you don't work in one, as a kind of paradise where charming old gentlemen browse eternally among calf-bound folios — the thing that chiefly struck me was the rarity of really bookish people. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one. First edition snobs were much commoner than lovers of literature, but oriental students haggling over cheap textbooks were commoner still, and vague-minded women looking for birthday presents for their nephews were commonest of all. Many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop. For example, the dear old lady who ‘wants a book for an invalid' (a very common demand, that), and the other dear old lady who read such a nice book in 1897 and wonders whether you can find her a copy. Unfortunately she doesn't remember the title or the author's name or what the book was about, but she does remember that it had a red cover." "In a town like London there are always plenty of not quite certifiable lunatics walking the streets, and they tend to gravitate towards bookshops, because a bookshop is one of the few places where you can hang about for a long time without spending any money." "Stamp-collectors are a strange, silent, fish-like breed, of all ages, but only of the male sex; women, apparently, fail to see the peculiar charm of gumming bits of coloured paper into albums. We also sold sixpenny horoscopes compiled by somebody who claimed to have foretold the Japanese earthquake. They were in sealed envelopes and I never opened one of them myself, but the people who bought them often came back and told us how ‘true’ their horoscopes had been. (Doubtless any horoscope seems ‘true’ if it tells you that you are highly attractive to the opposite sex and your worst fault is generosity.)" http://www.orwell.ru/library/articles...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mohsin Maqbool

    GEORGE Orwell's "Bookshop Memories" is an essay about his experience working in a second-hand bookshop in London. The writer is at his sarcastic best in this one. He writes about snobs who are more interested in buying "first editions" rather than literary works. He also writes about people who order books but never come to pick them up, oriental students who haggle over the price of cheap textbooks, and women who were shopping for birthday gifts for their nephews. He laments over the rarity of GEORGE Orwell's "Bookshop Memories" is an essay about his experience working in a second-hand bookshop in London. The writer is at his sarcastic best in this one. He writes about snobs who are more interested in buying "first editions" rather than literary works. He also writes about people who order books but never come to pick them up, oriental students who haggle over the price of cheap textbooks, and women who were shopping for birthday gifts for their nephews. He laments over the rarity of really bookish people. If book readers were rare in 1936 when the essay was written, then now it must be like searching for an oasis in the Sahara or the Kalahari desert. I know readership has greatly declined from my schooldays in the '60s and early '70s. Besides, most bookshops and libraries have vanished in Karachi as few people are interested in reading books. The majority is interested in watching the Idiot Box and turning into Idiots with a capital I.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Duane

    Orwell's sarcastic humor is good for a few chuckles in this essay about his time spent working in a London bookshop.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Carla

    "But the real reason why I should not like to be in the book trade for life is that while I was in it I lost my love of books. A bookseller has to tell lies about books, and that gives him a distaste for them; still worse is the fact that he is constantly dusting them and hauling them to and fro."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Frances

    http://www.orwell.ru/library/articles...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachele

    A quirky, sardonic, and quick read. I love Orwell!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ritika Gupta

    I wonder if working at a book-shop will affect my love for books or reading!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    Any book lover, and any fan of Orwell will be delighted by this essay.

  9. 4 out of 5

    J.T Wootton

    I've been working through Orwell's narrative essays for about a week and this is by far one of the shortest and one of the most laid back. It reads as a memoir and focuses more on the declining culture of bookishness among the general public. As you can imagine, if this was a concern in Orwell's day it certainly is now. But overall the scene is the same as it is now. The phenomena Orwell describes still happen to this day and I can vouch for them from personal experiences. Many of the types of I've been working through Orwell's narrative essays for about a week and this is by far one of the shortest and one of the most laid back. It reads as a memoir and focuses more on the declining culture of bookishness among the general public. As you can imagine, if this was a concern in Orwell's day it certainly is now. But overall the scene is the same as it is now. The phenomena Orwell describes still happen to this day and I can vouch for them from personal experiences. Many of the types of people he describes as inhabiting the bookshop on a day to day basis still exist. As Amazon memberships are on the up I've no doubt that the little microcosms of musty old ladies and people who order books but never pick them up may decline but they will still be around in twenty years. Heck, if this essay, written before nineteen fifty, is correct then they have been around for almost eighty years already. For as long as bookshops remain, this essay will retain its relevance.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    Just read Confessions of a Bookseller and the aauthor often quoted this essay so I was interested enough to seek it out and read it. I've never read an non-fiction from Orwell just a few of his novels, and I have to say that I enjoyed his essay writing as much if not more then his novels.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Can

    A must read for bibliophiles, this essay is characteristic of Orwell's wit and mordant sense of humour.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Noha

    “Would I like to be a bookseller de métier? On the whole – in spite of my employer’s kindness to me, and some happy days I spent in the shop – no.” weird things Customers say/do in bookshops, Orwell’s style, oh it’s a light, quick read and i loved his sarcasm “Would I like to be a bookseller de métier? On the whole – in spite of my employer’s kindness to me, and some happy days I spent in the shop – no.” weird things Customers say/do in bookshops, Orwell’s style, oh it’s a light, quick read and i loved his sarcasm 😂😂

  13. 4 out of 5

    Odette Brethouwer

    Op de eerste twee heerlijke pagina's van Dagboek van een boekverkoper werd dit essay twee keer genoemd, dus even nazoeken. Bleek het gratis online te lezen te zijn! Voor de liefhebber: alsjeblieft. Erg cynisch, en voor mij niet herkenbaar. Maar misschien is dat omdat ik in een boekwinkel met nieuwe boeken werk. Wel goed geschreven, maar het slaat qua emotie een beetje neer. En als het over boeken gaat en het doet dat met me, dan vind ik dat erg jammer. Maargoed, terug naar mijn leuke boek nu :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Evan Micheals

    This is an essay from Orwell about his experiences working in a second-hand book store. Reflected in it is a snobbery from Orwell (people read trash) and the customers who buys a certain type of book to fill a bookshelf, but never intent to read. He is appalled by what is well read (Detective Novels and Fem Porn – what has changed) and what is not (Shakespeare and Dickens). In this I saw a new side of Orwell, and his disdain for the low brow literary public. He confessed if he kept his This is an essay from Orwell about his experiences working in a second-hand book store. Reflected in it is a snobbery from Orwell (people read trash) and the customers who buys a certain type of book to fill a bookshelf, but never intent to read. He is appalled by what is well read (Detective Novels and Fem Porn – what has changed) and what is not (Shakespeare and Dickens). In this I saw a new side of Orwell, and his disdain for the low brow literary public. He confessed if he kept his employment that he would have lost his love of books to “paranoiac customers and dead blue bottles”.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Auntie H

    4 page essay in Essays. Prompted to read through monthly introductory quotes in The Diary of a Bookseller. Orwell writes that his experience of working in the. Bookshop destroyed his love of books. Bookshop combined with lending library - Public Libraries Act 1850

  16. 4 out of 5

    Izabella (Pages Full of Stars)

    I was encouraged to read this essay (and the following three) through the introduction in "The Diary of a Bookseller" by Shaun Bythell and I very much enjoyed them. I may not believe that the job of a bookseller is as bad as described by both authors, but the essay made me smile a lot. It's witty and full of books, which is how I like it :)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Random

    "But the real reason why I should not like to be in the book trade for life is that while I was in it I lost my love of books. A bookseller has to tell lies about books, and that gives him a distaste for them (...)"

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dany

    "Given a good pitch and the right amount of capital, any educated person ought to be able to make a small secure living out of a bookshop" I fucking wish George. Other than that, bookselling seems to have remained pretty similar. I find that quite comforting.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maybel

    A delightfully humorous about working in a second hand bookshop.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Hope

    68/100

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mamta Dagar

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tara Kheir

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Constance

  25. 5 out of 5

    Toni Mccallum

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Quinton

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mike Connors

  28. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  29. 5 out of 5

    HeatherB

  30. 5 out of 5

    Ruth

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