For two years now I’ve almost exclusively featured the photographs of others as my Bookshelf of the Week. So to mark the return of the feature after the absence of a month, I thought I’d feature a picture of my own, taken of the higgedy-piggedly interior of the world-famous 2nd-hand bookstore Voltaire & Rousseau (no website but there’s a thorough review of the bookshop HERE), situated in the West End of Glasgow.
I can’t tell you how long I’ve waited to bask in the glory of this legendary bookshop, and last month I had the opportunity to make the pilgrimage. I’m so glad I did. It’s an incredible place. What you see before you may well look like disorganised chaos (and to be honest it is. Health and Safety would have a field day) but Voltaire & Rousseau is a real paradise for the bookish treasure hunter (even more so once you’ve seen it first-hand). Sure you’re never going to stroll in right off the street and instantly snap up the book that you’re looking for (unless you’re incredibly lucky), but the draw of this place isn’t its convenience, it’s the thrill of the hunt.
And I should add that what you see here is only one half of the bookshop. Add on another side to the left that looks identical to this, and a large entrance foyer that’s also bursting at the seams with books, and you’ve pretty much got an idea of the size and scale of this place. In other words it’s got a ton of books. It’s massive! I should also mention that the owners are incredibly nice too. They may well be bookishly eccentric (aren’t we all), but they’re hugely welcoming (my kind of people!).
On this occasion I only managed to spent around 45 minutes rummaging through the Voltaire & Rousseau book piles (it would have been longer but Mrs. Rob was sitting outside on a wall getting increasingly impatient *sigh*), but I still managed to pick up half-a-dozen gems. I won’t tell you what they are right now because I’m planning on putting up a post of recent purchases, but I will tell you that they all turned out to be real bargains.
I am planning on going back again in the autumn – this time minus Mrs. Rob – so I’ll be sure to let you know how that return visit goes. Meanwhile there’s a couple of outdoor shots I took of the place too, which can be found HERE and HERE (but to be honest they aren’t all that inspiring).
So dear reader it’s over to you. Is Voltaire & Rousseau your idea of a dream location or is it your worst nightmare? I’d love to hear your comments.