Saturday, September 28, 2013

New York Blog Entry Updated

When I previously created a blog entry about New York while on our recent "world tour" I couldn't attach any photos as they were on a memory card that wasn't compatible with the iPad.  This issue has now been remedied and the previous New York blog entry now features many photos so please feel free to re-visit it again by clicking here.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ruislip And London Book Stores

The new James Bond novel "Solo" written by William Boyd was released today in the UK.  When I was in London just over a week ago I visited many book stores in my search for promotional material for the new book but alas found nothing.

However I did find some book stores of interest.  The first was Madcap Books in Ruislip.  This new releases book store has only been open for a short time and Jackie, the owner, explained it was the only new book store to open in London during the entire previous year.  This store has a wide selection of adult and teenage novels (including Charlie Higson "Young Bond" novels) and Jackie is very enthusiastic about books and her store.  I wish her all the best.  The website for the store is here but if you physically visit the store be sure to pick up a business card which resembles a stamp with the effigy wearing a hat.  Like it !

My wife and I then visited some rare and antiquarian book stores in Cecil Court and Charing Cross Road, central London.  Here's some photos which feature many Jonathan Cape First Editions.

View looking down Cecil Court

Goldboro Books, Cecil Court (including two Flemings in the front window)

Tindley & Chapman, Cecil Court

Pinda Bryars Books, Cecil Court (with one Fleming in the front window)

David Drummond, Cecil Court (also with one Fleming in the front window)

Alice Through The Looking Glass, Cecil Court

And some second hand book stores on Charing Cross Road just around the corner.

Any Amount Of Books, Charing Cross Road

 Henry Pordes Books, Charing Cross Road

Quinto & Francis Edwards Booksellers, Charing Cross Road

And the last bookshop Koenig Books, Charing Cross Road, which sells arty books

It was certainly a busy couple of hours visiting these stores !

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Tale Of Two Lamp Posts

Two days ago while in the UK I travelled with my wife and Aunt on the underground to London.  Prior to doing some shopping and sight seeing we first made our way to Westminster where we took a photo of a lamp post.  Yep, sounds weird.  But it was the lamp post used in promo photos for "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" and was always going to be a pilgrimage site for me on our current "world tour" due to my appreciation of the film.
Happy with the photo I thought "mission accomplished" and we boarded a double-decker for Oxford Circus.  And as we crossed the bridge in the bus toward Big Ben I referred to the photos of Mr Lazenby I'd been carrying around with me and realised I'd made a rookie mistake...
... it was the wrong lamp post.

My heart sank as I then noticed the correct one through the moving bus window just metres from where we'd just been standing beside the Thames.  And as the rest of our day was so planned out to the minute I knew there was no way we could turn around.

So the next day, the last day of our holiday in the UK and with packing still to finish before our flight, I woke extremely early and caught two trains to Westminster.  And this time I snapped the correct lamp post before rushing back to my wife and the lift to the airport.  Mission accomplished... successfully this time !

Monday, September 16, 2013

From Paris With Love

While continuing our "world tour" my wife and I left New York for a wedding and some sight seeing in Paris.  First stop on the obligatory book hunt were the book stalls by the Seine.  As always there were plenty of Bonds and the stall holders were all very helpful with my search.
Notre Dame, the site of our friends wedding, in the background.
After purchasing a French Bond from one stall my wife and I then searched for a book store we had visited on our previous trip to Paris back in 2007.  Fortunately we found it.

L'amour Du Noir bookstore contains hundreds of books.  It's really well organised and the owner proved very helpful.  They also have heaps of French Bonds in great condition... I counted 25 and ended up purchasing two including a "Dr No" with Sean Connery's image on the cover, although I suspect it was printed after 1962 as it not only contains images inside from the aforementioned film, but also of "From Russia With Love".  Still a great find though.  Here's some pictures of their shelves.

And finally, some more photos of Paris not book related...
Eiffel Tower (obviously)
Moulin Rouge
Jardin du Luxembourg, easily one of my favourite parks in Paris.  My wife and I had a romantic picnic here and later watched the kids pushing their toy boats in the fountain
Sacre Coeure

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Hunting For 007 In New York

It turns out maintaining a blog while travelling is not as simple as one would imagine.  Despite having free wi-fi access in every country we have visited so far I have still fallen behind in keeping up to date with my current country of visit.  So despite having more book store photos from Canada I am now going to move on to New York, a city we departed from over three days ago.

Due to limited time my wife and I visited three book stores in New York.  The first was the new book store Barnes & Noble on 5th Avenue.  We searched for both Higson's Young Bond and adult Bond novels and found only the Pegasus Gardner Bonds.  They did have a copy of every new Gardner reprint currently available which was good to see.

The following day we caught a taxi from our hotel in Times Square to Greenwich Village.  We had a fantastic (and cheap) breakfast in a cafe before walking to The Strand.  This second hand bookstore promotes itself as having 18 miles of books.  For those who don't know Greenwich Village is basically populated by uni students.  Perhaps that has something to do with the low numbers of Bonds The Strand has on its shelves.  I could only find a paperback/softback copy of "From Russia With Love" from Penguin.  There were six hardbacks though.  Last time I visited this store over 20 years ago I could find no Bonds at all so one paperback and six hardbacks was a definite improvement.


We then walked toward the Manhattan financial district using the "Freedom Tower" (One World Trade Center) as our navigation guide.

On our way we passed a chess shop (the Chess Forum on Thompson Street) that had a board on display featuring pieces that were Bond characters.  I managed to grab a photo through the shop window.

Finally we reached The Mysterious Bookshop, and our effort in the warm NY sun was rewarded.  This large store is jam packed with thrillers and mysteries.  Half of the back wall alone appeared to feature Sherlock Holmes.
My wife found the Higson Young Bond novels while I Ian Fleming.  I did have all the Fleming editions on display however there was a Higson cover I didn't have which was a great find.  One staff member kindly visited on his computer for me to check a few other covers they had on their shelves in case I was missing them.  He also showed me a really nice first edition Cape of "The Spy Who Loved Me" from a back room somewhere.

For anyone visiting New York this store is definitely worth a visit.  They also have a website.

Having spent four nights in New York, here's some other photos for those interested:

Times Square
Central Park
Ed Sullivan Theatre
Jurassic Park display in a toy store, Times Square
Chrysler Building
Views atop the Empire State Building
Statue Of Liberty
"Spider-Man - Turn Off The Dark" on Broadway
Fifth Avenue
Times Square again
Greenwich Village
9-11 Memorial
Museum Of Natural History