Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book Shop Moment - Oliver Sacks

It is convenient for us in the city that the fabulous Unity Books is close to a big bus stop.  With new electronic bus timetables up that update you on how many minutes you have to wait for your number, you no longer have to wait in the cold, but can nip in to the supermarket or browse the books.

I wish that I had money to purchase I truly do, but rent and bills empty my wallet, and books are a luxury I have had to forgo in the past couple of years.  I do feel sorry  for booksellers, I am sure it has been hard with so many closing lately, but Unity remains as a bastion of a quality bookseller.  It does not need to give its retail space over to games and novelty items as many have done.  Also not relying on gimmicky sales or permanent discounts keeps it classy.

Today when I went in I was grateful to escape the chilly Antarctic breeze that was flowing over us. I did notice by the door a display of Oliver Sacks new book 'On the Move', that was centred round a vintage motorcycle.  In the middle of the books, was a little letter that I took a moment to read.  It was from the author himself, thanking the book shop staff for posting a photo of them with the display.  He mentioned that if he had the chance at a 3rd life, he would have wanted to have spent it in New Zealand, after being brought up in the UK, and then living for some time in the US. 

It was sweet and simple and gracious, in a time of emails and tweets, for this nice man to take some time out of precious life to write to a bunch of book lovers in far away NZ.  Oliver Sacks is now 82, and was recently diagnosed with metastatic Occular Cancer.   What a nice man. 

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