From now on it will be a lot easier to describe where I’m going, if I’m going into our holiday town to buy books. I’ll be going to the bookshop. There will no longer be two of them, the ‘antique’ names of which I still cling to, in order to tell them apart. Meijels Bokhandel and Larssons Bokhandel.
Now Halmstad Bokhandel (my Meijels) has been declared bankrupt. It has operated under that name for thirty years, and before that it was Meijels for 27 years. Which means that there was a time in my life when that shop on the corner of Brogatan and Hantverksgatan was not a bookshop, but I don’t remember that. (Back in those days we only went to Larssons, where Mother-of-witch had one of her students. The ‘middle Larsson,’ I believe.)
But Meijels is ‘mine,’ because it’s where I once had a holiday job, and it has always been the place I go to first when I needed a book or stationery.
It is obviously a case of death by cyberspace bookshops. While Amazon has barely got its teeth into Sweden, there have been several internet based bookshops, selling books cheaper, and faster.
Apparently the 83-year-old owner of Halmstad Bokhandel has – more recently – worked in the shop himself, along with his two sons, to keep costs down. But they have to eat too.
I don’t mourn just the death of a bookshop. It’s the fact that soon Halmstad will be nothing but pharmacies and bars and kebab places. They are all lovely, of course, but a town needs a bit of normal shopping as well.
Went to Waterstones a few days ago. Well, I was in town anyway, and I also happened to want a new book. (I’m working on being more in control, by not always asking for free books.)
Children’s books are upstairs and I went straight to the lift, on account of being lazy. And also the stairs are tall-ish, especially when you come down.
The lift was already there. It let me in. I hit the button for up. After some non-action, the doors opened. Pressed the same button again. And this is where it becomes a blur in my memory.
The lady voice thing that says whatever the lift is doing, suggested all manner of things. Going up. Going down. Doors opening. Over and over again. I looked at the closed doors (whatever that lady was saying), decided I didn’t like it and pressed the open doors button.
Luckily they did open, after some thinking about it, and out I stepped.
Marching over to the steep stairs, I heard the lift lady still talking nonsense. I hauled myself up, and after finding the book I was wanting, trekked down again.
I’ll have to consider whether I go back. Don’t want to try the lift again, and I don’t really appreciate those steep stairs. If you like the word user friendly, then they aren’t.
Why is it that even quite modern buildings, in public use, are falling to pieces so soon? This part of the shopping mall was (meant to be) opened on the day of Diana’s funeral.
Did the malfunctioning of the lift have anything to do with the bucket collecting drips of water at the front of the shop? Where was the water even coming from? Upstairs?
Call me fussy, but…