‘ Rare and Interesting Books’ in Westport , Co Mayo.

John Hursts Interesting books (with suit of armour).

EDIT : 13/12/2010 : John Hurst died last night . Rest in Peace.

As always a visit to John Hurst’s Interesting books shop is a delight, a real treasure-trove, indeed, I have spoken of the shop before now. I thought to add a picture of the frontage (with the suit of armour) and though it cannot be seen in the pic, a foot acts as a door-stop!

John has a good range of rare and interesting books that is not tailored to the tourist but to the local population, the writer and miscellaneous visitors, which is refreshing. Lots of contemporary bookshops require desperate rooting time to uncover a jewel but that’s not necessary here. Theres a well-stocked poetics and drama section and the rest of the shop is worth a mooch too.

The children’s area is guarded by a carved boar of indeterminate age, complete with bristles and moveable jaw. Books for children are wide in range but always of literary interest, a nice copy of Old Possums Book of Practical Cats was obtained along with a Three shillings and sixpence copy of Irish Classical Poetry (!!!) (which only publishes excerpts but provides food for thought and research).

On returning home from a very brief visit to Mayo , there was a book-offer on my email.  I await the fruit of that one with some delight, as it involves the exchange of my address for a new imprint of Daragh Breen’s Latest book. His last book; Across the Sound is searchable on Poethead , along with a lovely Paul Henry painting to illustrate.

Whilst visiting the house and library of my old friend, I enjoyed some Francis Bacon essays and the music of Alphonse the Wise. It would be great to have a more extended visit sometime quite soon.

I am adding in the link to Daragh Breen’s book Review here :

‘Writing the Loved Word’.
 Daragh Breen’s ‘Whale’ , with thanks to Daragh