Going to fly with these

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This morning, two young girls with beautiful shoulder bags visited the shop. I don’t remember them here before. They settled in. I sat back with respect. True readers.

Lord of the Rings…. look at these…do you have The Sils?’

‘Yeah, ages ago…’

‘Every book that he’s written…’

‘I know, right!’

‘Do you think I should get something about…’

‘I shouldn’t be looking at this, but I love roses…’

They are young and can kneel easily. They can include the bottom shelves. They are not fatigued by high shelves. Reach and lift. Scan books on their knees and get up rapidly again. Their shoulders are not rounded. Once a lady told me she cannot read the titles on any books above her head or below her knees, and I needed to get rid of everything on the highest and lowest shelves. She was really angry. She had shoulders that were argumentative.

One girl cradles, then hugs the book about roses.

They can both walk and read at the same time. I used to be able to do this. The angry woman had said that my shop would cause injuries.

‘Look at this.’ The girls whisper darkly and laugh and laugh and laugh.

They sit on their heels, easily.

Once a man said I needed to do something about my doorway.

‘You need to do something about this doorway. Bloody ridiculous.’

The girls are are counting coins on the floor.

They stand up and look at each other’s armloads, then look down to examine their own cuddled stack. Then they move to another shelf. They have not yet got enough.

The angry lady had said that she would not return.

One girl said, ‘I’m going to fly with these. Just got The Last Unicorn.’

‘Did you get that?’

‘Mmm.’

‘Omg.’

‘Cmon.’

‘Ok’.

They pay and leave, hugging their books. Hugging their books. When they floated past my window, they were hugging their books.

Wild Swans by Arnaldo Mirasol

The Grandaughter

the grandaughter

Yvonne has a granddaughter who reads and reads like nothing you can believe. She is 11 years old and especially loves books about dragons and monsters of the deep. Yvonne came to to the shop and asked me: what books have I got then, about these things…

Well, it is hard to present books for a child who is not present. Possibly I don’t have anything that she would like. Yvonne said that she reads Pippi Longstocking, Roald Dahl, Harry Potter, Enid Blyton and the Septimus Heaps and the Skulduggery books. Also she liked 101 Dalmatians of course. And Heidi. And Charlotte Sometimes.

She has read all of the Series of Unfortunate Events and the Dragon Moon books and the Dragon Fire series by Chris D’Lacey. Yvonne thought her granddaughter had read Across The Nightingale Floor and all of the Narnias and the Diaries of the Wimpy Kid and the Treehouses and The Secret Garden. She has also read all of the Inkhearts. And she loved Garland from Maddigan’s Fantasia. And she loved September from The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making.

I said: but what is there left…

…and Yvonne said that her granddaughter, whose name is Erica would like to read Treasure Island and also was wondering what is Fifty Shades of Grey….

 

The Young Readers

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Although it is cold outside there are people everywhere, spending a hopeful Sunday not at home. And there are two children here, brother and sister, who came into the shop earlier and who have refused to sit with their father in the car parked outside. They have been here for nearly an hour and have not spoken once.

They have circled and surveyed the displays and the shelves, balanced on one leg, sat under the tables, leaned on shelves and examined book after book in an intense, rich and enchanted silence. Once they met up too closely at the science fiction and they glanced up briefly, and then silently the older brother moved aside.

Once they reached for the same book. Their father came back to see how things were and neither of them looked up at all. Once, she toppled some Ranger’s Apprentices to the floor and they both stared down at them. Once he laughed out loud at Gorilla World and she looked at him, not seeing him, only seeing Con because she is reading The Magic Thief: Home

Once she says: this book is really good, you should see how they make the bridge. But he didn’t answer. Later he says: are you getting anything? But she doesn’t answer.

When they leave, they have not chosen any books, but they have replaced carefully the ones they examined and when they pass me they smile and say: thanks, thanks for the bookshop.