Thursday, 19 April 2012
Irish pubs always have books in them. Usually antique editions, dusty, displayed out of reach on high shelves. Decorative allusions to the literary past and old world charm. The books in The Old Punchbowl's library aren't there as decoration, they're there to be browsed, handled, picked up, flicked through and read and enjoyed by anyone who wants to. Most of the books were mine although there has been some very welcome donations from customers.
My own contributions include books by authors such as Colin Bateman, Mark Billingham, Ken Bruen, Lawrence Block, Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammett, Michael Dibdin, Colin Dexter, Tana French, Kinky Friedman, Joe R.Lansdale, Ed McBain, Ian Rankin, Jim Thomson and Dave Zeltserman.
Spot the pattern yet ? Crime fiction, perhaps more than any other genre of fiction it seems to fit neatly into the pub environment. The discreet dimmed lighting, a quiet corner with a comfortable seat and a hard wooden table, a sense of humanity around you, muffled noise and movement creating an atmosphere without being an overt distraction. A good book and a good drink, paired together, an ideal combination.