“You are so lucky to work here…”


July and midwinter and everybody sits in cars to eat their dinner from the bakery and stare through their fogged up windows at my windows and I see them point to the books and say things.

I was asked for The Canadian series ( historical, eight volumes and terrifically good, it’s for my wife, she won’t come out in this cold ) and also for The Oracle of Rama ( doubt that you’d have that though). Then, Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell, Game of Thrones (everything, please, please after book three, part one, as I am smashing through the TV series).  I was asked for A Farewell to Arms.

I was asked what was so good about the Justine Quartet and if Salmon Rushdie has written anything new.

I was asked for Dick Bruna and was pleased to have one small copy of The Lifeboat. The customer said to me that I have the best job and asked me what would we do without books.

I was told by somebody that he had always wanted to read a book about Shakespeare but he kept putting it off.

A lady said that even if I hid the good books, she will easily find them.

Outside it is still freezing. Inside it is warm and I am reshelving the Australiana and sorting the Travel.

Serenity comes in to admire her drawing that I have put on the wall. A family come in from Victoria and are delighted to find Specky Magee. I sell a Kylie Tennant’s The Battlers to a student who is not studying it. She says that she needs a break from reading for assignments and want to read properly for a while.

I am reading George Sand and I think that she is fabulously brave. And not ordinary.

An old lady complains that she can only take five steps outside and then it rains again.

I am selling about 5 books per day which comes to about $30. Only a second-hand book shop can get away with this because inside the bookshop is a gold mine.


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