After 4pm, and cold

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That’s Leonardo da Vinci.

I know.

Saw it the other night.

So cute.

I know.

There are high school students here, walking about the shop. They always move so slowly, lean against the shelves to discuss something else. They examine books seriously, stroke the spines, put them carefully back.

I love that one.

That’s like my 6 year old brother.

Omg, that’s cool. Fiction.

Captain Cook.

What’s this music?

These girls tip their heads back to listen better.

I know.

Omg, what is it? My mum knows this music.

I know what it is. They played that at sports day.


I’ll look it up.

They were holding onto a Complete Shakespeare. Amazed at the size of it. They stare down at the cover. One girl swings the book gently, exaggerating the weight. She places it back and looks at it sitting there.

He wrote all this. I love this book. My mum will kill me if I get this. It’s like, what about your bedroom, like, all the time.

I know. It’s Sound of Music. I think, this music. I got a crate for mine.

Oh yeah.

Do you want to read this?


Omg, is that what Roald Dahl looks like?

I love him.

So do I. Did you read Witches?



I have to go.

Omg, so do I. I’m getting this next time.

I love this owl.


Then they leave. As they pass me, they say, thank you, thanks, thanks….and then they are outside and gone, floating away in the cold wind.










The Quiet Person


This person came in without me hearing, came in and looked first at the doorways quietly, ran his thumb over the wood and the grooves and then examined the room from the doorway with his hands in his pockets and on tiptoes, without going in. He nodded at me, I thought he was going to ask a question, but he didn’t. He wore all black with purple boots and he walked with the bent neck necessary in bookshops, leaning in and over the covers, quietly moving all around the shop until he arrived back at the counter and said: thank you so much. This was all he said, but he still stood there, turning in every direction to see the books leaning about on high shelves, looked at them all one by one and then he laughed and pointed to a copy of The Worst Band in the Universe by Graeme Base and he said: That Is One Great Book, That One There. So glad you have that book…and then he said to me to have a great day, and left quietly and still smiling with it.