Helter Skelter Books
by Claire Massey

The helter skelter itself was rescued from a derelict pier by an anonymous bookdealer and relocated to a quiet corner in a nearby park. Its blistered deckchair stripes rise unexpectedly from between the conifers. A small sign beside the often shut door advises visitors that there are no formal opening times and to please do try again. When the door stands ajar you can venture into the dim, salty smelling interior. As you climb the tight curl of the staircase a single, packed bookshelf winds alongside you, but it is difficult to read the spines in the splintered light.

The round room at the top is tiny and thick with books. There is no room for a bookseller, only an honesty box and a pile of paper bags and sellotape dispenser. So you must pack your own purchase before you take up a hessian mat from beside the exit and set off down the slide.

Helter Skelter Books first appeared in Imaginary Bookshops. This site is the result of a reader coming across two wonderful books in quick succession in a fairly ordinary bookshop. The first- Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino- made her long for imaginary places. The second- an ode to bookselling by Lewis Buzbee called The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop- mooted the idea of ‘bookstores that don’t exist, yet should’. Imaginary Bookshops is her attempt to bring some into existence.

Claire Massey’s fiction, poetry and articles have appeared online and in print in an assortment of places including Cabinet des Fées, Enchanted Conversation, Flax, Rainy City Stories, Magpie Magazine and Brittle Star. She is the founding editor of New Fairy Tales and Assistant Translations Editor at The Adirondack Review. Claire lives in Lancashire, England, with her husband and two young sons. She spends a lot of time in imaginary bookshops, links to more of which can be found on her blog

No comments:

Post a Comment