A photo of the Barbican Bookshop on Fossgate in York. Hastily taken, when passing, in June 2012. I didn’t stand in front of it and try to get its shopfront properly lined up. I’ve been looking in my photo archives to see if I had other, better photos, from earlier years. I can’t find any. I really thought I had more. But then I often think that. I often think I’ve got a photographic record of a particular place but really they’re just in my head, remembered like a photo, as I passed and looked so many times. I forget to take the photos I should take. I take things for granted because they’ve been there so long. Most of us do.
Eighteen months on from the above photo. The Barbican Bookshop is closing down. The closing down sale is advertised not only in the shop window but in the alley alongside.
Not surprising that many bookshops are closing. Things have changed so so much.
Our now traditional Christmas Day afternoon walk into town usually has a target or two. The target this year was this place, to get some photos when the shop wasn’t open and the street was quiet. This one was taken through its closed doors, the interior of the shop, with its red and white signs advertising massive price reductions.
Since summer 2012 the lettering seems to have been replaced on the shopfront, but it’s still red on green, and a bit 1970s, in a good way.
They’ve been here on Fossgate for decades, with all those rooms of secondhand books in a shop apparently small when you see it from the front before you realise that it goes back such a long way from the street, and up narrow stairs.
I’ve visited again, since taking this photo, and bought books. I’ve written about that too but don’t feel like sharing it. I hope to share some of the pamphlets and books of local interest I found in boxes at the back of the shop. But for now I just wanted to say goodbye, and thanks, to the Barbican Bookshop. It closes on 11th January.
The Press: York bookshop to close after 53 years