Ren Mouchotte Barter Bookshop Alnwick

Jan Leeming

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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE - Barter Bookshop, Alnwick

Date: 10th April 2014

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE – Talk at the Alnwick Barter Bookstore.

Last September, my oldest friend and I had a few girly days up North taking in Lindisfarne, Alnwick Castle and Gardens and also the wonderful Barter Bookstore in Alnwick. It is a decommissioned Victorian Railway Station which is a fabulous Bookshop with over 300,000 titles and more stored in a Warehouse. You can find a book on virtually everything and sit in a cosy armchair or have a snack whilst pondering over your prospective purchases. Last time the Manager saw me reading a book on the Cathars and somehow the talk went from them to Huguenots and then on to René Mouchotte about whom I can talk forever.

The outcome was that I was invited, if back up North, to give a talk on René. It was an immediate sell out which was very good for the old Ego until I discovered that they could only accommodate 30!

Although their technical man worked very very hard, we were unable to show the Keynote pictures I’d organised into a Presentation so I had to Wing it. I suppose people chose Powerpoint on P.C’s because they are infinitely cheaper than Apples but having always been an Apple Mac user, I don’t think P.C.’s are even in the race.

I was forewarned that I might not be able to show my Keynote presentation so I did have a backup which was a collection of laminated photos illustrating my talk which the audience, being small, could come and peruse at the end.

Of course, I am in my element talking about René and was thrilled when the Bookstore owner emailed her thanks and said that a few people had said it was the best talk they’d heard.

I have regularly attempted to cut down my library but somehow it always grows again.  I weeded out some lovely books which I knew I'd not read or look at again and took them to Alnwick with the firm intention of not  buying any more.  Some hope.  I came back with nearly as many books as I'd taken.  It's just as well I don't live near Alnwick - I'd practically live in the store.  It's so welcoming - rooms where you sit in comfy leather sofas, a coffee machine with an honesty box, another room with playthings for children and an endless expanse of shelves containing every subject under the sun.

Yes I do have an Ipad and if I'm on a train journey, will use it to read a book because of the better lighting especially if it is a night time journey BUT I still prefer to hold a book in my hand.

I've posted photos of the bookstore in previous Blogs so my choice of one will be the dining room of the White Swan where Sue and I stayed overnight.  The beautiful wood panelling came from the Oceanic - sister ship to the Titanic - all very historic.

RENÉ MOUCHOTTE - Barter Bookshop, Alnwick

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