One of the things I, and thousands of other blogs write about, is bargains. We’ve become a nation obsessed with finding something that we feel makes our money go furthest, and the internet facilitates that hugely. We can type any of our wants into Google, Pinterest, Amazon and the like, and find that thing that we wanted at half the price and have it delivered directly to our door within 24 hours. But what about shopping?
I’m not talking about major high street retailers, as I rarely go to a shopping mall or busy street to just browse anymore as I can’t be doing with the crowds. Instead I need to remind myself of the amazing plethora of shops that are practically on my doorstep. That’s one of the wonderful things about living in London: there are magical treasure troves to discover on whatever part of the city you end up in. As a person who was born and bred in Milton Keynes, this is particularly wonderful for me!
The other weekend I took my parents for a stroll in Muswell Hill, which is a mere stones throw from where I live. We were minutes into the shopping area when we saw a bookshelf outside Muswell Hill Bookshop with the word ‘SALE’ on it. Well obviously it would be rude NOT to look, which then led us to go inside, which then led to half an hour of browsing and sighing at all the wonderful books we wanted to buy. How I didn’t come out with bags full of the things I have no idea.
I decided to allow myself to buy just one book, in order to stay in control of my purse strings. But it was a case of whittling it down from a Beijing travel guide for my holiday in September, the awesome Letters of Note coffee table book, bargain recipes from A Girl Called Jack, and The Flavour Thesaurus. I settled for the last one as I’ve actually wanted it for well over a year since I spied it in a friend’s flat and it’s so pretty and brilliantly clever. Yes, I could get it cheaper online. But the basic pleasure of perusing the shelves and flicking through the pages is so much more enjoyable. Me and my mum even discussed how much we love the smell of a bookshop, it’s deliciously musty and homely, do they pump it through the air vents to get us to buy more?!
I’m all for bargains, I’m all for convenience. But at some point soon just wander in to your local bookshop and remind yourself of what a simple and unique pleasure it is.