Under the bridge

Have I ever stopped and looked properly at the books for sale under Waterloo Bridge? Don’t answer that. You can’t know. Even I don’t, and I’m in a better position, having come along on most of the occasions that I’ve walked under the aforementioned bridge.

But I did this week, so now I have. Couldn’t tell if there was a system to what goes where. Signs saying poetry and sci-fi/fantasy in neon green poked up in places. What that meant for the remaining books I don’t know.

I saw a battered DaVinci Code, and simply had to check what they expected to be paid to have it taken off their hands. £3. That includes interesting remnants of tea or coffee, plus bath water, or some such thing. And it was dog eared, which always looks better on a dog than on a paperback for sale. Then I found another, almost pristine, DaVinci Code, which was £3.50, so it’s 50p for the difference between dry and dipped in liquids. Quite a few more copies waiting to be adopted, but who’d want to pay that much? I thought even Oxfam was trying to hand them out for free on the pavement…

Does anyone know who it is that sells the books under the bridge? Is it a big business, or a few plucky stall holders? It’s a good tourist trap, but not necessarily good value.

At least now we all know I have stopped and looked. Please remember in case I need to ask again.

3 responses to “Under the bridge

  1. We have a secondhand bookshop near us and I found there a book I’d loved as a child – Children on the Oregon Trail, by A.Rutgers Van Der Loeff. But the price was £30, so I decided it must be one of those much-loved books which are so rare that booksellers can charge crazy prices. However I have just bought a copy on Amazon marketplace for 12 pence. That’s going to be my starting point from now on.

  2. It sounds as if the books must be sold by Dan Brown!

    I got Da Vinci from the library, and I did read it even though my daughter (the one who studies literature) bullied me. But pay for it?

  3. £30! Wow. I have a lot of 10p books from school fairs (where nobody wants books except me) and from when the school library spring cleans. Far too often, if you ask me.

    Dorte, your daughter was right. How could you?

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