Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Belle's Heaven

Officially called Scrivener's Books & Bookbinding, to me it'll always be Belle's Heaven. Five floors of books, mostly old, with that "old book" smell all through; it's a lovely place to spend time. A lot of what they carry is first editions and such, priced appropriately, but there are some volumes that are more suited to a budget. I went up to the top floor, and I came down with something... no, not asthma from the dust (which isn't too bad, actually), but rather some books.

Behind the name "Scrivener's" is actually something like the story of Driver Bus Lines back home. Not only does "scrivener" have bookish meaning, but it's also the founder's name - Alastair Scrivener, who still runs the place.

I'm told that this is the busiest time of year for them (seems the G&S Festival brings quite a bit of custom to the place - the official Festival Programme contains an ad from them, and they have a shelf of G&S scores, libretti, and other books), but even so, there's never all that many people there at a time. It's easy to find delightful solitude in the upper reaches of this magnificent tower of books. Definitely a place that Belle would enjoy spending time with - has the character of her village's bookshop, but far more extensive (though not as huge as the Beast's library!). Scrivener's is a calm point of solitude, and would be even in a huge city.


Talldad said...

Scrivener has a noble heritage: occupational name meaning a drafter of legal documents, and witness of signatures. In the USA they call them Notary Public; we used have them in Victoria and called them Commissioners for Affidavits (Evidence Act 1958) I became a CofA when I worked at the credit union, and kept it until that system was abolished more recently.

Talldad said...

PS: Poet John Milton was a scrivener, as was his father John Snr. before him.