The Bath

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A young reader visited the shop and asked me not to remind him that school begins again soon.

January is slowing and it is quiet.

After finishing The Historian I have chosen to read Daisy Head Mayzie by Dr Seuss and also Green Eggs and Ham. I read The Big Cheese and Bartholomew Bear and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. David asked me: But what happened to Edith Wharton and I said: bother Edith Wharton, who cares about her!

Some grandparents brought in their granddaughters to use gift vouchers and one of them, aged about nine years, chose the entire Narnia series. I told them about Max and they said I should give him a voucher, a voucher to my own shop and I was speechless to not have thought of it first! I rushed to write one out and the grandmother said she thought The Gingerbread Man was an ideal first choice. The young reader who was not looking forward to school beginning said his first book was The Secret Seven and is friend said: no way man!

I tell my mother that when I read to my grandson, he follows every word even though he is only four weeks old; he is advanced.

She said: well, maybe he is the same as most babies!

But I am doubtful.

I read I Went Walking three times. Then it was into the bath with Max where he floats motionless, heavy lidded with only his extended big toes showing the ecstasy.

I cannot get anything done. A small baby in a bath is just too absorbing and there is no retreat.

I showed Margaret a picture and she said: What a dear little man. She had come in for a book but forgot what it was, we were too busy looking at the picture of the bath. I said: I can hardly run my bookshop anymore and she said: yes, that’s right, it is impossible.

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