Friday 30 May 2014

A journey, and a destination

In this fast-paced world of planes, high speed trains and motorways we've become used to rushing from A to B with little thought for the 'to' that lies in between, but sometimes it can be good to slow down and remember the journey is as important as the destination.

Since starting this blog my life has become very much about the journey, with bookshops regularly dictating the route I take from A to B. The result is some very pleasurable detours and often faster journeys as I've avoid the traffic jams on the more traditional, busy, routes.

Which is good news for avoiding road rage and good news for the bookshops I visit as I find myself with more time to explore them at my leisure.

My most recent detour saved me from the horrors of the M1 and M25 during a drive north to south, and led me to The Book House in Thame. Located on the High Street, it was easy to find after only a very minor detour from my route, and with on street parking right outside I didn't even need to spend time hunting for a car park.

Met on the doorstep by a puffin (who sadly didn't come out well in my photograph), I felt like I was being welcomed by a very special doorman, and the friendliness continued inside.

I'd intended to leave the booksellers in peace during this visit, as I didn't want to delay my journey too much, but as I explored the bright, well-stocked bookshop it was hard not to want to join in the booky conversation by the till.

So once I'd explored the recommendations, admired the courtyard garden and made a new friend in the children's section (I really wish I'd bought him to add to my growing collection of cuddly bookshop critters) I decided to ask for some advice on my purchase.

Having spotted serveral tempting books I was struggling to whittle them down to just one - as anyone who's ever wandered around a motorway service station will know, you can be too focussed on driving to think about anything other than maintaining a safe distance. Thankfully, when I held up Hannah Kent's Burial Rites there was such a unanimous show of enthusiasm it was easy to make my choice. You don't get that kind of service at a motorway stop off...

My visit to The Book House wasn't one of my longest, but it was no less pleasurable as it gave me a chance to pause and enjoy a moment of calm.

Sure, it feels rude to describe The Book House as anything other than a destination, but life is all about the journey. And mine has become a lot more interesting since it left the direct route behind.

The Book House
93 High Street, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3HJ
Tel: 01844 213032

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