The fellow Stephen King nerds amongst you will recognise Room 237 as it appears in The Shining. Yup, a comic book shop named after a Stephen King reference. I was always going to love it.
But I’m not just here to tell you that the guy who owns Room 237 has great taste in authors, I’m also here to tell you why I love the store and the service I get as a “not so conventional” comic book reader.
What do I mean by “not so conventional”? On several occasions when I have told people about my love for reading graphic novels, I have been met with surprise. “You don’t seem the type to like comics” they say – and whilst I see where their thought process is coming from, I also have to resist the urge to go off on one about how comics really are for everyone. Seriously guys, go read some comics and tell me I’m wrong.
The shop is located in Southsea (near Portsmouth in Hampshire), in a pretty well known part of the area called Albert Road. The reason it’s quite well known is for it’s more independent vibe. It’s the ideal location for a comic book shop.
Room 237 is pretty small, and it’s laid out a bit like an art gallery in that the interior is all white, with the comics displayed very much like the artwork that they are. Whilst the selection available isn’t exactly huge, I’ve always been drawn towards picking up at least one book. On my last visit, I picked up the three above to add to my collection.
The guy who works there (unfortunately I have no idea what his name is!) is the friendliest comic book owner I’ve come across. He’s great because he welcomes anyone who comes in, but doesn’t harass you. He’s easily approachable, and best of all, really knows his stuff about comics.
In the past I’ve experienced a level of ignorance from comic book shop owners who aren’t particularly interested in talking to me for whatever reason, but Room 237 guy restores my faith by always having the time to recommend a book to try out.
I’m definitely looking forward to dipping into the books above, which have been dutifully added to my ‘to read’ pile. A certain companion of mine added quite a lot more to his collection on our last visit…