I love my community. An important part of what makes it a community is small businesses in the form of shops. Here in Geneva, although the population is very small, there are lots of bookshops, antique shops, bric a brac shops, open air markets, butchers and other food shops, clothes shops. There are even half a dozen yarn shops, which I mention to show what a vibrant colourful community it is.
In Switzerland, the Anglo-Saxon mentality that we should have no shopping except online, with High Streets consisting of nothing but coffee shops, charity shops and supermarkets has not yet caught on – thank heavens! Nothing could be more boring that a street like Fitzroy St, St Kilda which has almost literally nothing on it but coffee shops, bars and restaurants. It used to have shops that interacted with the community: butchers, green grocers and so on. But apparently the locals would rather shop at huge supermarkets. They’d rather live in a world of Ikea, Amazon and coffee shops. NOT ME!
Being such an international community here in Geneva, it isn’t surprising that many bookshops have some English content. In particular for me, there is the open air book market on rue de Confederation which is is hard to walk by without picking something up. Most recently, on Friday, I bought a lovely old copy of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, a very early impression, the same year as the book was first published.
The next day we decided to go to Off The Shelf our specialist English bookshop and came back with some bargains. They often have a shelf or two of super-cheap books which naturally encourages experimentation. Apart from the latest Anne Tyler, these are all new to me. I’ve started with the Wells Tower for no particular reason. More on that when I’ve finished it.
So what did I spend my weekend doing? Reading, of course!