It is September and it is warming up. Passers-by are not so huddled, and they do not walk by so fast. They stand in the sun and look through the shop window.
A couple came into the shop and bought Alice in Wonderland for their daughter and a Star Wars novel for their son.
They said, ‘Well, this is great, this book being blue, also with summer coming and everything.’
Outside there are young people leaning against the wall, the warm wall.
Robert visited and said he wouldn’t look around because he knows what will happen to him: he will be ambushed by some book on the Ancients, and at the moment, he just needs to pay his AGL bill even though they don’t deserve to be paid. He also said that the Thames and Hudson Art and Imagination Series is the best thing he’s ever seen.
I am asked for dozens of obscure titles; the sun is warming up everybody’s reading lists.
A little boy sent his grandmother to the shop with a pirate book reading list. There were hand drawn illustrations on the list to make sure she got the right books. She said he always makes these lists for her.
I take longer going down the street because I want to stay in the sun, and so does everybody else.
An older couple spend ages looking at a copy of Pinocchio.
I am asked if I think Harry Potter is a suitable series for a young person.
A man buys three very worn cartoon books and tells me they are brilliant, but his wife says they are stupid.
Down the street I see Alan buying wine and beer. Alan is Swiss and has a fabulous accent. He is gloomy because he grows his own vegetables, but his wife said they are all shit and just bought a lettuce from Woolies. He looked at the brie I had bought and said I must leave it out of the fridge for at least ten days before eating it, as is proper for brie.
I said, ‘Maybe.’
He said: then you pack it into a good house of bread, cuddle it up with roasted garlic, a square of butter over the top and bake it. It is the proper way.
I said I was going home to make it.