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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

RIP John Hatfield

I was just informed that, sadly, bookseller John Hatfield, has died. A fine gentleman. Here is a link to my brief blog post from five years ago as his bookstore, Place Bell Books, at 160 ElginStreet, Ottawa was coming to a close and Mr. Hatfield thus began his retirement.

Among the many memorable conversations with him at the store, I recall his personal stories about wartime England, and the effect that rationing of foodstuffs had on recipes and the inevitable substitutions that had to be made, and his gardening experiences. Right in the middle of the store he would have two small sections of books: one the left - non fiction; on the right - fiction. There, he carefully placed special titles, sales, and most importantly, he rotated these titles often. Always something new to browse for frequent patrons. He would suggest books for me to read but not in that pushy kind of way. Always appropriate and subtle. That was back in the day where I would buy five or six books a week (prior to kids, of course, which has had a serious adverse effect on my current book-buying habits.) I would say he was primarily to blame for my acquisition of practically the entire collection of the Modern Library Food Series.


Anonymous andrea m. said...

I liked him too. I still miss that bookstore.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 12:50:00 PM  

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