George Brown on ‘Bookshops as an Intellectual Opening’

George Brown on ‘Bookshops as an Intellectual Opening’


“I was out of a job, and one of the big influences
in my life is that I was in Notting Hill Gate, and I saw a placard on a second-hand bookshop,
saying, “Boy wanted, for 30 shillings [a week]”.  And it was [run by] Peter Eaton,
who became very [well known] later on, very rich ¼ and he had an old fish shop ¼ It
was in Church Street, there was an old fish shop, and they would put the books on, throw
the books on, shilling and sixpenny books, on a big [marble] slab.  And I
went to work there for three months.   It must have been one of the key experiences
in that in some way, I began to get turned on.  I met David Glass, in fact, who –  people
would come in. I must have been quite an interesting chap, because there was an inner office, and
they would come and confide in me.  So a prostitute came in, and a businessman, and
so on, and they would talk to me.  And David Glass, saying he was highly critical of America
and sociology, and he brought in a lot of books on populations, he didn’t really want
them.  And so that was a very important experience.”

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