The quality of second-hand books in Charing Cross Road seems consistently to have risen in the last year or so after going through a longish period of shabby populism.
This afternoon, in Quinto, I picked up four 40 year old paperbacks in very nice condition and could easily have brought home a half-dozen more. The cheapest was 1 pound and the dearest 3. In a slim stack near me, I have a study of Wallace Stevens by Frank Kermode and one of Tolstoy by Henry Gifford; St Kilda's Parliament - a volume of poems by Douglas Dunn (a poet I hadn't read and whose English I like very much indeed). Most gorgeously and because I had never heard of them and might never see the book again, I bought a Penguin volume from 1972, Tudor Interludes. I came to Chaucer for the first time this year and feel love, pride and pleasure in reading 15th century English:
For better or ill, have others seen changes in second-hand books shop stock in recent years? London's second-hand book stock may be on the rise.Mankynde: Hey yow hens, felouse, wyth bredynge;
Leve yowur derysyone and yowre jaypynge.
I must nedys labure, yt ys my lyvynge.