Jermy & Westerman

It’s always a shame to  have to report a bookshop closing its doors for the last time but sadly its happened again, this time to my favourite second hand bookshop in Nottingham, Jermy & Westerman which ceased to be the last weekend.

I wonder if my continued support would have helped, had I not been abroad for the last year and a half, which in turn fuels my need to support the remaining bookshops when I have some spare Sterling. A noble excuse for being  a book junkie but the mutual enablement is pitched perfectly.

Despite being a small book space with only two floors and a few rooms there were always plenty of  good books on offer over a variety of subjects.  In fact being a regular I noticed there was a regular turn over of stock, to cater to the needs of the obsessive.

Situated near my old apartment in Nottingham, I always remember the happy days when I would set out with excitement over future purchases.  First wandering by all the student houses, heavy in the air was the scent of Cannabis, then through the Arboretum, and turn left on the main road and look for the sign outside, as the exterior always seemed hidden when in reality it wasn’t.

Walking through the doors was always exciting, a quick decision to make, start upstairs or down.  Upstairs always won, and it was straight to the travel and history sections before wandering through to the politics and children’s shelves.  Sci-Fi and philosophy on the way back down and finishing off with the fiction on the ground floor.

Not only was it a great place to browse and enjoy thumbing through old tomes but it was also peaceful, and always yielded up plenty of bargains over the course of my traditional route.  Inevitably though people choose to buy online or choose the infernal e-readers over the real thing and another treasure trove shuts its doors for good and another community is less richer as a result.

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21 Replies to “Jermy & Westerman”

  1. That is a huge pity. It is always really sad to hear about a bookshop closing like this. I’m not sure what the answer is, though – it feels like the online genie is out of the bottle. I buy from my local shops when I can, but I doubt that will ever be enough.

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      1. Yep that’s a good approach. The internet is marvellous for those hard to source titles. But buying in person is preferable if poss.

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  2. Looking at all those towering shelves, I’m wondering, and am emboldened to ask,”How did the customers reach the high books even to see them and browse?” Did they let you climb on some of those sliding staircases, or what? I ask because here in the States, most people in business would have to carry heavy insurance (assurance) policies in order to cover anyone who might take a spill and get hurt. Just wondering. I’m sorry your friends had to close up, but glad you got to be there for it.

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    1. There were ladders placed about, I’ve never asked about the insurance. I think we booklovers would be fine if we tumbled, perhaps try and get a discount!

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  3. This is so sad! Always, when I return to places I used to live as you have done here, I find that the things I love best about the place have gone or have changed. It is almost as if our leaving was the catalyst and if we’d stayed all would have been well. Bookshops, and especially second-hand bookshops are still suffering and will continue to suffer from the on-line booktrade. Have you read ‘The Diary of a Bookseller’ by Shaun Bythell? Very funny and extremely irritating in equal measure but he highlights the extreme difficulties of keeping a bookshop going.

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    1. I haven’t read that one but I love books about books so it will be on my radar now, especially as a half fun, half annoying book is always a good one to review. It is strange how we assume it is us leaving that would tip the scale, although of course our taste in books and passion for said paper joys is so much more superior to everyone else. It’s not our fault the bookshop shut, but all those other people’s fault.

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  4. Sadly I’ve only just found out that my old bookshop with Roger Westerman has closed, after selling it to Geoff Blore & his family in 1991, when I moved to Tasmania and opened a s/h bookshop there, which is still going. Also, sadly Roger died a few years ago. Anyway, thanks for a really great review. I’m back in the UK for a holiday and was hoping to call in, but just a little too late. Pete Jermy

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    1. I loved the shop, so much effort went into keeping it going sadly being out of the country in the Philippines for the last few years I couldn’t do my bit. Tasmania is now on list of places to visit, not only for your bookshop (admittedly a big pull) but also as we aren’t too familiar with the place and that always makes it more enticing. Thanks for stopping by and filling in the history of shop, it’s a big loss to the local area.

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      1. Thank you for your reply, and pleased you loved the shop. Roger and I opened the bookshop on Mansfield Road in 1977, before we sold it to Geoff in 1991, who also had a bookshop further up the road in Sherwood. It is a sad day when bookshops close, as I find many the heart and soul of a community. Often quirky and idiosyncratic, reflecting the bookshop owners themselves and independence against conformity of large organisations. Kind regards, Pete.

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        1. I remember the one in Sherwood with fond memories too! I really enjoyed wandering through both shops and I picked up some absolute gems over a good seven or eight year period. I much prefer looking through independent shops, and the conversation is always much more enjoyable too.

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