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.