This past weekend, I’ve been ghosting around the streets of Brussels. Wandering, wandering, wandering... I saw a big black W on a sign, so I did what any book lover would do and went to investigate. Imagine that... a Waterstones in the middle of Brussels. Imagine also that the entire stock was books in English - not what I expected at all. Imagine also that the store manager was a Welshman who got to choose his own stock.
i know about fifty bookshops back here that could learn a lot from a trip out there. It’s easily the best bookshop I’ve been in for years. There was a huge stash of books I could have walked out with but alas, I had things to do and my plans to head back and make another Welshman very happy were derailed by that old nugget of running out of time.
The moral of the story is... out in the world there are people who care, who are discerning, who want to sell you good books based not on an algorithm, nor a publishers need to shift copies of certain titles but based on knowledge and taste.
2018. It’s easy to forget how things used to be before it was all about money.
It’s also easy to forget that art can be fun:
...and then, when I got home, I watched the last episode of The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair with my mouth open. One of the finest shows I’ve seen in a long time. I wish I’d read the damn book now.
Meanwhile, in Brussels and back home, it’s been raining like Noah’s in town and three days ago, somebody left their boots out in the garden.
Fish now live in my boots.