IBW2021: Amanda Brittany on bookshop memories

To celebrate Independent Bookshop Week Amanda Brittany, co author of The Perfect Nanny, shares some much loved memories of bookshops in this latest post in our series.

Bookshop Memories with Amanda Brittany

I love bookshops, and can never pass one by. If I’m out for the day or on holiday, to find an independent bookshop I’ve never seen before is like finding hidden treasure. I think it’s the sight of so many books all together that gives me such a buzz. The feel of a new book in my hands, the smell of them, and the gorgeous covers. I have to admit to buying books, even when I’ve got a wonderful pile of to-be-reads at home.

When I was young, I remember going to Eric T Moore’s in Hitchin with my parents and sister. I was mesmerised by the ancient building on Bridge Street. Every room was filled with books. Even the rickety old staircase had bookshelves on either side as we made our way up to the second floor. There were so many twists and turns in that bookshop. The floorboards creaking as we made our way through, and with every footstep, more books appeared. I felt as though I’d entered a magical kingdom. Sadly, Eric T Moore closed its doors a few years ago. 

Another wonderful memory of my childhood was visiting David’s Bookshop in Eastcheap in Letchworth Garden City for the first time. It has been in Letchworth since 1963 and is still thriving, stocking over 50,000 books on two floors.

The first books I remember finding at bookshops and loving were The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Whereas my sister was very much an Enid Blyton fan, and collected all her The Famous Five books. I remember we would take our bookshop finds home, clasping them in eager hands. My sister was guilty of staying awake all hours with a torch under the covers reading into the night – whereas I was a good girl. I would put my bookmark into the page I’d got to at a sensible time, snuggle down under the covers, and dream about the adventures I’d read about.

You can read the rest of the IBW2021 series here. The Perfect Nanny by Karen Clarke and Amanda Brittany is available to grab at your local bookshop or on bookshop.org.

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