Broadleaf Books

A 'Broadleaf Books' bookmark resting in an open copy of James Joyce's 'Ulysses'.

Really good second-hand bookshops are a rare & endangered species nowadays. My favourite such establishment in this part of the world is Broadleaf Books in Abergavenny. Their stock is arranged in thematic sections, with the volumes in each section not necessarily following any obvious order. This frustrates systematic search, as it meanwhile rewards serendipitous discovery. With systematic search very easily done on-line, this seems to me an ideal state of affairs. I’m not in Abergavenny too often, but when I go, I seldom leave Broadleaf without making a purchase.

One of their bookmarks is shown above, resting in an open copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses (specifically a mid-’50s reprint of the Bodley Head edition), that I picked up on my last visit there. I’ve read Ulysses about 1¾ times: once while in university, and then again a decade later, if only up to some point in the middle of the so-called ‘Circe’ chapter. I’d then put my paperback copy into the seat pocket in front of me, whence I forgot to retrieve it on leaving the plane. I very much doubt I’ll make a third attempt at reading it from cover to cover, but there are some chapters I’ll be delighted to revisit.