Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Indie Advent: Erica on Gay's The Word, Bloomsbury

One of the inspirations for Indie Advent was discovering the incredible The Bookshop Around The Corner blog, and meeting Erica, who runs it, at Tales on Moon Lane a few months ago. I was thrilled when she said she was interested in taking part, and even more so when she decided to do one of my absolute favourite bookshops, Gay's The Word!

Gay’s The Word
66 Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury, London, WC1N 1AB
Tel: 0207 2787654

It’s no secret that bookshops are friendly places. But what if you enter one feeling like you don’t belong? Worried there’ll be nothing for you or - even worse - they’ll laugh you out of the shop for being so completely out of your depth that you don’t deserve to enter any bookshop, nevermind the one you’re stood in at that moment.

Well obviously those bookshops are the friendliest of all.

They know how you feel. They’ve probably experienced exclusion themselves and, most importantly of all, they’re the least likely people to recognise differences between you, them and anyone else.

I’ve previously confessed to going through all these emotions before I entered Gay’s The Word for the first time, but without this introduction I don’t think I’d’ve appreciated how special this bookshop is. Because although I talk in all bookshops: at customers, booksellers, pets, cuddly toys and even the books themselves, it’s only in Gay’s The Word that I’ve been able to stand for hours chatting to a bookseller about life, the universe and everything. Sometimes the chats are brief, sometimes in depth, but always - even though I’m not a regular enough to be recognised - friendly, welcoming and open.

Equally, so good is their stock selection that where time is short I know I can pop in for just five minutes and be guaranteed to find an excellent read to take away with me.

When it comes to the book I’d buy from Gay’s The Word as a Christmas present it has to be The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach. I’d give this book to:

My mum - because it’s about sometimes difficult family relationships
My dad - because it deals with the weighty issues of management
My sister - because it’s a story about love
My brother - there may be some sport involved
My best friend - for second chances

Yes, I really have given the same book more than once in the past because books, like bookshops, are for everyone.

Gay's The Word can be found at their website and on Twitter.

Erica is a bookshop blogger. You can read about her travels visiting bookshops around the country at www.thebookshoparoundthecorner.co.uk - and do feel free to recommend your favourite bookshop to her on the blog, by email or @bookshopblogger on Twitter.

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