Rare Indulgences!

Austen
Andrea here
, I’ve been thinking about the last few months, and how stressful it’s been for all of us in so many ways. The need to shelter at home has cut us off from so many daily pleasures—meeting up with friends for drinks or dinner . . . visiting a museum . . . treating oneself to a little shopping. So I am deeming myself deserving of a splurge. And it should come as no surprise that books are involved!

DevonshireViking Cruise Line, a sponsor of PBS’s Masterpiece Theater, has been offering a video channel on culture and the arts for us to enjoy some virtual travels and lectures . . .and among the recent fun offerings was an interview with the Duke of Devonshire by his son-in-law, who owns Heywood Hill, one of Britain’s most famous rare book emporiums. (You can see it here)

Now, of course, I couldn’t resist taking a virtual visit to Heywood Hill. (Oh, how I miss real-life London!) And what do I find—a carefully curated list of 80 fun bibliographic treasures, specially chosen to lift the spirits during the pandemic! (You can see the full selection here.) So, I’ve opened my virtual checkbook—because money is no object when one is drooling (of course not literally) over such a fabulous array of goodies! However, I’ve exercised great restraint and haven’t gobbled up all them, but have chosen just a few that really tickle my fancy:

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A Bookshop Fit For A Duke

Old book-closeupCara/Andrea here, carrying on the library/books theme that Nicola began on Monday . . . If you’re like me, any bookstore sings a Siren song—I find it hard to pass one by without poking my head inside and exploring. Shops that carry old books are particularly intriguing, for one never knows what marvelous (to me, and not anyone else) treasure might be hiding on the shelves.

HHSo I was delighted to stumble across a wonderful article on a very special bookshop called Heywood Hill in the New York Times this past weekend, and can’t resist sharing its story. (Oh, that I could be in London to “stumble” across it in person! It’s first on my To-Visit list for the next time I’m traveling across the Pond.)  

Number 10Heywood Hill founded the small shop that bears his name (it occupies two floors of a Georgian townhouse, complete with a fireplace and chandeliers) in 1936. To say that it has an impressive pedigree is no exaggeration on many levels. Hill loved books and literature, and according to the shop’s website he liked “to sell not just the best books, old and new, but other beautiful objects and curiosities—a tradition that continues to this day.

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