Shop where you 'find books you didn't even know you wanted'

Naomi Frisch in Still Out of Print bookshop on Smithdown Road in Wavertree, where you can find the unexpected (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)
-Credit: (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)


On Smithdown Road there is a shop where you can find books "you didn’t even know you wanted".

Naomi Frisch came to the UK in 1972 aged 23 from California, USA as an avid book lover. But it wasn't until years later that she would open her shop, Still Out-Of-Print Antiquarian and Secondhand Books in 2022 opposite Wavertree's Mystery Park.

Naomi told the ECHO: "I don't remember learning to read, I just remember always reading. I’m 75, so I don't know how many books I have read.

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"I’ve always been a reader of fiction, and am still a reader of fiction, I don't often read other types of books or nonfiction. I don't have a head for history, things with too much detail, I don't retain it."

Naomi graduated in psychology at university in Southern California and when she finished took a year off. Her plan was to read as many books as possible by women as she had read by men.

She planned to travel, then go back to do a graduate program. But after visiting her sister in London, and later moving to Liverpool, Naomi never did go back.

Naomi Frisch in Still Out of Print bookshop on Smithdown Road in Wavertree, where you can find the unexpected (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)
Naomi Frisch in Still Out of Print bookshop on Smithdown Road in Wavertree, where you can find the unexpected (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO) -Credit:Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO

Naomi's book supplier is the former owner of Out of Print bookshop, which faced the Bombed Out Church. When they stopped trading Naomi later received the bulk of her books from them and began her Still Out-Of-Print bookshop, as she knew the books were all just in storage and thought she “should find a shop and get the books out”.

She said: "One friend wanted me to call the shop the Mystery Bookshop, because it's opposite the Mystery (Park), but everyone would expect everything to be detective fiction.

"Books can be your friend. Lots of people come in and say it smells like a bookshop. It has a nice atmosphere. We may not be able to point people in the right direction, but you have got to browse. The bus stop attracts people as it's easy for them to get off the bus and just come in.

“There's a mixture of ages that come in. Everyone says 'young people don't read' or 'students don't read books, they do everything on the internet'. I’m sure they do a lot that way, but there are students who come in. The area is such a good mix."

Naomi Frisch in Still Out of Print bookshop on Smithdown Road in Wavertree (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO)
Naomi Frisch in Still Out of Print bookshop on Smithdown Road in Wavertree (Image: Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO) -Credit:Iain Watts/Liverpool ECHO

When we visited, Neil and his daughter, who were looking for poetry, said “I like the old poets, classics like (Lord) Byron and (John) Keats”. Neil added: “We go up and down here a lot, we’re always looking for bookshops and we noticed it as we were going past.

"I like certain types, Lord of the Rings. I love Peanuts, you know, Charlie Brown and they’re really hard to find. With it being out of print it would be like, they might have something we haven't got. That's why we come to be honest.”

Eleanor Lee said: "I love this shop. It’s got a good mix of books and you always get a surprise when you have a look around. You see something you did not know, or know you could still get hold of.

"Come down, because you’ll never regret it. You’ll find stuff you didn’t even know you wanted."

Pauline Cummins said: "I think the shop has a lovely old fashioned feel. They have a wide variety of really interesting books."

Nina Houghton added: "My local bookshop where you find books on every subject under the sun, and a warm welcome. Ask for any topic, however obscure, and they’ll be sure to have something to offer.

“I'm interested in local history, so love to browse the books they have about my area of Wavertree and further afield in Liverpool and the Wirral. I've found some beautifully illustrated children's non-fiction books that I'm keeping for my grandchildren when they're older.

“What an asset it is to the Smithdown Road community".

Naomi added: "Books I really love have been written by women. I love Alice Monroe, Alice Walker, I could list lots.

"One of my most favourites is Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison. I've read it twice and cried both times. To me it was so moving”.

If they don't stock your book Naomi can help, if they’re no longer printed. A book I’d been after for years that I read as a child is A Pair of Jesus Boots by Sylvia Sherry, set in Liverpool close to where I grew up, Naomi ordered it and I picked it up two days later.

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