One quarter of a million openly published and twelve dozen impossible books can be found sat together leering at the thirty thousand vinyl LPs that occupy the occasionally to be found Bookcase in Carlisle. This is not a book shop, this is porn for anyone that loves books – or if not loves, then is willing to say they do in order to sleep with them. This place is astonishing as you actually have to explore it. Small doors are found through which another room holding something unlikely can be discovered. Indeed and explore is completely correct as the 1997 Herbert Mint expedition can still be heard distantly and deeper still within hunting elusive texts, foolishly attempting to map the four legitimate floors and two more born quite the other side of the blankets.
This is Carlisle, and away from what is best not. In one direction and close to hand stands the castle. In the other and the Boardroom- a very fine pub indeed that when waiting for a coach entertained me with Lynyrd Skynyrd and half a chicken.
This is a bookshop where tall men without noses plan expeditions by magic lantern light. Where the unlikely, entertain the unpleasant, to their unbirthdays. Where there is no coffee because this is a bookshop, where muffin is probably still a mule and one packed heavily for the Andes.