Daunt Books, at 83 Marylebone High Street, London, is a beautiful bookshop, complete with long oak galleries and grey skylight. This is the kind of bookshop that makes we want to stand up straighter and mind my manners; something about the timeless feeling from all that oak and light, I think, making me suddenly aware of how sloppy modern times would have seemed.
They sell general fiction as well as having a great focus on travel, which means they have a Scandinavian shelf with translated Scandinavian literature. The woman we talked to had unfortunately just read an Hjalmar Söderberg and looked expectantly at me, while wondering out loud what the title was and describing certain parts of the characters and plot. “Err, yes, that one, of course”, I said. Being a self-proclaimed book nerd is very hard work; sooner or later they’ll all realize there’s an enormous amount of Swedish classics I haven’t read. And English or American ones.
As for book recommendations, she started out with what seemed to be a very interesting book on the Irish famine – “but it’s not terribly uplifting, I’m afraid’ – and then changed her mind and settled on An Enchanted April. “Oh, is that a book?” I said happily. “I’ve only seen the movie.”
Not one of my best visits, as booknerd image goes. But a stunning bookshop!