What:Bookmongers, second-hand book shop.
Where: 439 Coldharbour Lane, Brixton, London SW9 8LN – Map
Who: Book lovers who buy and sell books.
Why: Stumbled upon it by accident one Sunday morning – it looked shabby and fully of books so how could I not go in?
Refreshments: Not really relevant, however, I went in after having an amazing brunch at ‘The Duck Egg Cafe’ across the road – (Duck) Eggs Forestiere was delicious and not too expensive for London.
I was delighted to happen upon this shabby looking bookshop after brunch one Sunday. The dilapidated frontage suited the fact it was for buying and selling your own second-hand books and it beckoned me inside. I entered the Aladdin’s Cave, it had a musty smell and was literally top to toe with books, this place was not for the faint hearted. I tripped into the first section which after a bit of browsing revealed itself to be Biographies, before I knew it I had four bargains in my hand which I whittled down to one:
Mr Blue: Memoirs of a renegade, by Edward Bunker which appealed thanks to a blurb detailing his colourful life, ranging from being an inmate in San Quentin Prison from the age of 17yrs old, to becoming a famous crime writer. In addition I was intrigued by the fact that the title of the book came from him being the inspiration behind Tarantino’s Mr Blue in Reservoir Dogs – all that entertainment for the sum of £2.95!
Next stop took me through a maze of book towers, clearly there was a surplus of product since the majority of books wouldn’t fit on the shelves, in my opinion this added to the charm of the place. There were faded, coloured pieces of paper blu-tacked to some of the shelves attempting to indicate the genre you were looking through, this I think had been of little use for a while. However, I was a little more preoccupied with not banging into anything and causing a literature avalanche. In my quest to make no sudden movements, I found another interesting read… my second purchase, which was to be ‘The Princess Bride’ by William Goldman. This just sounded like such a ridiculously entertaining book that I couldn’t not buy it for £2! Anything with someone called Dread Pirate Roberts should probably be read by everyone.
I can appreciate that this bookshop won’t be for everyone. And if you’re someone who likes there shopping to come easily with a perky assistant on hand to help – I struggled to find the cash desk – I urge you to avoid at all costs! It’s a labyrinth of literature that I could happily lose myself in for hours, so only go there if you have the time and the patience for a good browse and hopefully like me you’ll find a couple of previously unknown bargains.
Rating: 8 out of 10.