Last night my friend Becky and I went to see Pullman's Grimm Tales at the Oxo Tower in London. It was incredible. Five Brothers Grimm fairy tales retold by Philip Pullman, and acted out on different floors. We walked through the fairy tales as they were acted out around us, in this incredibly creepy building that had rusty lightbulbs, old photographs on the walls and eerie music playing. Old wedding dresses hung along the stairwells. In one of the corridors, seven small beds were lined up with seven small outfits hanging on the far wall. In the next room, a real person slept in a glass case, holding an apple, with candles surrounding her. There was a spindle in a corner. A lit up crescent moon. A glass slipper in a case. Chairs and lamps stuck to the ceiling. The floor was covered in woodchip and sometimes screams would emit from radios that sat along the walls. Whenever a wave of music flooded a room, the light bulbs would flicker in time to it. It was everything I hoped it would be.
Jen Campbell is the author of the best-selling 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' series, and her new book 'The Bookshop Book' is out now. She's also an award-winning poet and short story writer. Her poetry collection 'The Hungry Ghost Festival' is published by The Rialto, and she lives in London, where she works at an antiquarian bookshop. She is currently writing her first novel.
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From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole). The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.