The next stop on our European holiday was Belfast in Northern Ireland. It was certainly strange to go from metric street signs to imperial ones as we crossed the soft border in our rental car. And the same freeway from Dublin suddenly contained tractors, public buses and even garbage trucks stopping beside houses with their driveways adjoining the road.
As we had arrived late into Belfast, due to our stop in Newgrange, the book stores I intended to visit were already closed. We visited the Giant's Causeway the next day so it was only on the morning before we caught our ferry from Belfast, NI to Cairnryan, Scotland that I was able to visit the three stores all located on Botanic Street.
The first was the charity book store War On Want, where I spoke to Tony, a volunteer, who was running the store today. The store was really well categorised but to save time I asked him if he knew if there were any Bonds on the shelves. He replied that they were not very common and he hadn't seen a Bond book in a while. There were plenty of other great books to buy though.
I then crossed the road to Oxfam Books, another charity store (if only we had charlty stores in Oz that specifically sold books!), and spoke to the volunteer there. This time he told me they did have some Bonds and I took some photos but unfortunaly I had them all.
Finally I visited the new kid on the block. No Alibis Bookstore has only been open for couple of months and is a great little store. It sells crime, noir and thrillers (my words not theirs) and the books are both new and second-hand. I found the owner very friendly and I hope he does well with his new venture. This street seems to be a very lively and happening part of Belfast and the location of the three book stores so close together won't hurt either for other book collectors like me.
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