Saturday, 26 December 2015

Emergency Bookshoppery

No matter how timely and organised I've been in executing the 'final' Christmas shop, there's always a need to brave the late rush for suddenly remembered, essential extras. A quick recce two days before the big day revealed that whilst moving house had uncovered lost hoards of tea spoons under beds, down the back of settees, etc, we still had a dearth of knives.  And the dodgy electrics in our new home would be sure to blow the old-style fuse box during the cooking of Christmas dinner if we didn't ensure we had a range of fuse wire to hand in three different gauges, even if we didn't have a clue what to do with it - a sort of precautionary magic.  Plus, while we're in the hardware shop, a new bin for the kitchen, hinges to re-secure the loft hatch at some point and some silver Brasso (a misnomer if ever there was). 


Pausing to admire the sign outside Bishopston Books was a mistake, for how you can you loiter there on the pavement without succumbing to the musk of foxed pages, the yearn and murmur of fading notes and inscriptions?  

With most of our books still stowed in boxes awaiting shelving, I racked my brain in the poetry section. Do we have a copy of 'Wintering Out' by Seamus Heaney already or not? Never mind, it's only £3, we can buy it, read it and pass it on later if it proves to be a duplicate. 

And Ted Hughes' 'The Iron Wolf' - I know I've got it in paperback but this is a first edition hardback and look at the gorgeous illustrations and yes, I know it's £25 but- 'oh, we have to have that,' declares my parter in poetry.



'You do realise it's signed, don't you?' says the bookshop owner as we pay at the till. So it's a bargain too, then. 

'Come on, Deb,' my partner says as I linger over another tome on the way out. 

'Just got caught by an interesting book,' I explain, reluctantly slotting 'Adult Psychopathology Case Studies' back onto the shelf.

'There's never any end to it, is there?' says the bookshop owner, with boundless compassion.



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