5 February 2012

Eccentric villagers... the bookshop owner

Like something out of an Enid Blyton story, the village has all the shops and businesses that villages should have, including a post office and pub.The village book shop is owned by a man who would give Basil Fawlty a run for his money, who does for bookshops what fawlty towers did for hotels. 

You only enter if a look through the window shows it’s manned by his business partner, a lovely lady whose sunny disposition almost makes you buy something in the relief of not having to be confronted by 'Basil', who seems to treat every customer as an intrusion and prospective shoplifter. If you take a book from its shelf to read the blurb on the back, he suddenly materializes at your side breathing heavily pretending to tidy the shelves. You put the book back only for him to remove it with an audible tut and then replace it again himself. If you have the temerity to actually buy a book, the transaction is silent, your purchase shoved into a paper bag and handed over the counter with such a look of disdain it’s as if you’d bought the A to Z of bestiality. In the end, the stress of checking to see if he’s lurking in a corner before entering is too much, and many people have absconded to other book shops, especially the bookseller on the hill, a much more congenial bookshop whose interior you can happily rummage around in for half an hour or more before the friendly man behind the counter even realises you’re there.


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