The Frog

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When the door opened this quickly I thought the man was falling through the door. But he didn’t. He had an armful of paper bags from the bakery and a vigorous attitude and he said how great it is to see bookshops still here, so good, so good.

After a while he came back to the counter and asked me if I knew about the frog…but I didn’t. He said that he knew of a little girl who sat on her grandfather’s knee and asked him to croak and he asked her why. And she said that grandma had told her that when grandad croaks they were all going to Disneyland! Then he said: here’s another if you can be bothered and he told me three more jokes and then said not to worry as most people don’t like curly hair when they have it!

Then he said he was just passing through this country but would be back, he would be back for sure, please stay here!

 

Glass sculpture by Glass Baron

The Reader’s Bill of Rights

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A customer said to me that Wilbur Smith has gone off the boil.
As a teenager, I read every single one of his books that I could get. I told the customer this and he said that that was because back then, he was on the boil. He didn’t buy any books because there was no point.
I like the way that young readers, equally as discerning and profound about their own reading, can reject with impressive confidence and precision book after book. But then, finding nothing that day, can still leave as serene as when they arrived. Or they will freefall with something new. Regardless of purchase they will always leave with exuberant and generous footsteps.
Young readers can recall every important detail of a book, no matter if there are a thousand details or only two.
This afternoon there are two friends next to Biography and one is urging the other to read and read:
I think you could read a six hundred page book about Hilary Clinton.
The friend said: I don’t think I could read a six hundred page book about anything at all. He looked at a book about Paul Keating that was hopefully offered, and he said that that would all be bullshit.
Joseph said that he only liked Dean Koontz and that is because Dean Koontz is a good writer.
One man says – this is a Jim Butcher, I can’t believe it. His friend said: Life is good today isn’t it, Craig.
One young girl said that there are a lot of owls in my shop and at her house they only have monkeys.
One couple said they can’t get any books because they are too heavy for their caravan and they only came into the shop to pass the time. One young man asked if he could just charge his iPhone and then he would leave again.
Steve said that when he has read all his Cornwell books he starts again.
Peggy, who is 84, said that some of the people in her walking group say that she reads too much. She went up the Centre on the train hoping that she could just read the whole way but she drank too much red wine and ending up sleeping the whole way. She said that people should just mind their own business.

One man told me about The Green Mountain, the best book written in the English language so far. He did not know the name of the author.