I don’t know what was going on, and I don’t want to in case it spoils it, but I am pleased to report queues of young people outside both branches of Waterstones in Birmingham today.
Maybe books got sexy today. Maybe people just can’t get enough reading. Maybe books have been banned and are now subversive and cool.
Anyhow, outside the Waterstones with the glass lift near the bull ring there was a queue, I thought that was odd but carried on up New Street minding my own business. I passed the other branch, this is one of my favourite shops. The Waterstones near my home is all white and shiny and cool and totally wrong. Bookshops should be cosy, bookshops should have hush, bookshops should be sacred portals to a million other impossible, fantastical and reachable worlds. You should feel that possibilty when you walk through the door. There should be chairs. You should be left alone to look at the pictures in the knitting books, run your fingers down the spines of books, sniff the ink… er… Maybe that’s just me. New Street Waterstones has corners, it has levels, it has a fabulous sweeping staircase going up the middle of it. And today, all the way up the staircase and out of the door into the street; teenagers. Please don’t tell me why, I like to wonder.