The last bookshop I visited on my day in Lincoln over the Easter holidays was Jews’ Court Bookshop. This was actually the only one I had looked up before visiting. The Grade I listed building in which this secondhand bookshop is situated is, in fact, one of the oldest synagogue’s in the British Isles. Although the history of the building is shrouded in mystery, it is thought to have been built in the fourteenth century and almost came close to demolition in the 1930s, until the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archeology stepped in and took over the refurbishment. As well as a secondhand bookshop, the building is also home to the headquarters of the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archeology, houses a library and lecture room, as well as being the centre for Jewish worship in Lincoln.
I had no idea what to expect with this bookshop. I had read that it is a great resource for local history books so I wasn’t expecting the wide range of fiction that also adorned the shelves. Expecting not to buy anything, I came out with two books, though I could have bought so much more as all the fiction was only 50p! I literally had to force myself out of the shop before I found anything else that took my fancy. I am happy with the books I did find though:
I immediately saw Donna Tartt’s The Secret History and, although I am yet to get around to reading The Goldfinch, which has been shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, I have heard nothing but praise for this writer and the novels she has produced so far. I then saw Lynne Reid Banks’ biography of the Brontë family, Dark Quartet. I remember being a fan of The Indian in the Cupboard when I was a kid and last year I picked up one of her adult novels, The L-Shaped Room, which I absolutely loved (though it took me a while to connect these two books to the same author!). She seems like such a diverse and brilliant writer. I can’t wait to see what her non-fiction is like!