I have a weakness for acquiring photography books. I seldom buy “how-to” books, as they mostly cover the same ground, and there are only so many instructions on how to achieve the perfect exposure or composition before they start to pall a little. So, most of the books that I do buy are collections of work by individual photographers, or retrospective assemblies by various photographers, on a single theme. They serve to provide me with ideas and inspiration. Well, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. My collection is growing steadily, and is comfortably into three digits now.
In pursuit of this end, I often pop into the Honesty Bookshop in nearby Penmaenmawr. This is an absolute gem of a shop. The shop is unstaffed, and payment is made by pushing the appropriate payment through a slot in an interior door. It works very well, and is respected by its customers; there are always people in there browsing and, as far as I’m aware, everyone honours their obligation to pay.
Their stock of books is donated, and are consequently priced very competitively. There are also often free books, or CDs and DVDs, if they aren’t deemed saleable. There’s no shortage of stock, and people seem happy to support the shop by donating their books.
My latest visit, just a few days ago, yielded a haul of eight books, pictured, for a ridiculous total price of just £15. One of the books, “Parkinson: Photographs 1935-1990”, a collection of work by the renowned society/fashion/portrait photographer, Norman Parkinson, is worth that by itself, but was priced at a crazy £2.50. Amongst the others was “Camera Obscura 2016”, a collection of award-winning photographs covering many genres, from wildlife to nude, from street to abstract – and everything in between. An absolute steal at just £1.
What’s not to like?