Tuesday, 28 May 2013

My Back Pages

I love books. I buy new books to read on my Kindle; I buy real books from the Folio Society for their beautiful designs and illustrations; I also have become quite obsessed with second-hand paperback books from the fifties and sixties. One of the shops I buy from is My Back Pages in Balham. Yesterday I picked up some rather nice books for a bargain price. A couple of them - the Kerouac and the Burroughs - I've been eyeing for some time, but the price was a little steep. Yesterday they were half-price. But I'm not happy. The reason they, along with the rest of the stock, were selling at a knock-down price is that the shop is closing down. One of the best-known and best-loved secondhand bookshops in London is closing its doors. Sure, you can find more second-hand books online than ever before, but there's nothing that beats pottering around among the shelves and stacks of a shop like My Back Pages. You can't potter online.

Below are scans of the books. The Chatterley Trial, Naked Lunch and Dharma Bums are all first editions and the Kerouac in particular is a real rarity in that condition.