Yesterday a customer came in to dodge the rain.

He swayed in the doorway nonchalantly. He doesn’t mind the rain. And he’s a reader (he told me).  Leaned back and then forward, examining the books. Shrugged, uninterested. Looked at The Shorter Pepys and said, ‘God! What is it?’ I said nothing. Pepys can take care of himself. I won’t defend Pepys. His behaviour with the maids etc.

This customer took his glasses off and examined Pepys again. He said, ‘Not really reading material. Not a short one either.’ (1154 pages).

He put Pepys back and stood still, whistling, hands in pockets. Bored. He disappeared into the other room. I kept on working away at the counter. He came back and picked up Pepys again.

He rolled his eyes and rocked back and forth. ‘I don’t have time to read. Don’t understand how people do actually. Didn’t really come here for a book, but….. ok. It’s mine.’

He paid, and he and Samuel lurched back out into the strange November rain.