Thursday, November 20, 2008

Robert Fisk and BCN Books, Barcelona

Actually, all this blogging is what happens when a woman who enjoys listening to, finding and telling stories, is left alone in a new city with no one to talk to but wifi and a laptop in her room ...

Well there is the waitress who lived in New Zealand but that tapas bar is a busy one so we just talk a little each time.

Today I set out with a guide for the city but foolishly wandered into a bookshop I happened upon by chance. Due to recent experiences, most particularly in France, I decided to immediately ask where the English books were ... hoping there were some.

The lovely man looked surprised and said, 'They're all English'.
I replied, I'm sorry, I'm a tourist.'

I just did the same downstairs before leaving for tapas, the I'm a tourist thing ... 2 women leaving the building at the same time thought I was trying to lock the door as I was leaving but somehow I managed to explain that no, I only wanted to be sure I knew how to get back in. They were kind, they took me through the procedure and voila, I'm back in after a dinner of tapas and with a little Mr Robert Fisk on the side.

BCN Books, Barcelona ... you must visit if you're a lover of English books because it sells itself as Your English Bookshop - something I'm wishing I had noted as I wandered in. You can find this store at Roger de Llúria, 118, 08037 Barcelona and if I have written that out incorrectly, then you can email them for directions at or phone them on 934 577 692.

There is a website but I think he said it's not quite there but then again, it depends when you read this, doesn't it.

Really ... I looked over the shelves, pre-the almost-fainting-over-the-light at Salgrada Familia and almost fainted over the selection of books that BCN Books have on their shelves. And truly, I'm not a fainter.

They're so intelligent, tempting, diverse!
I have been trying to force myself to buy books that are about entertaining me and losing-myself-in-them simple because I would like some of that sometimes, but I just can't pay money for them however this bookshop satisfied all my other bookish desires.

I once heard Robert Fisk speak in Ghent university and I loved what he was saying and the passion and the other times, cold calm, with which he spoke. Some say he is too emotional, too personal but I'm not sure I agree that that is possible, especially when you've spent most of your journalistic life in the Middle East.

So I knew I had to buy his massive tome of a book - The Great War for Civilisation. The Conquest of the Middle East as soon as I saw it there.

1286 pages ...

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