I have been looking over my old blog today. This covered the time that I had a bookshop in Salisbury. It was a commentary on the customers, books and events – partly from the perspective of my dog Mitchell. When i read them now – I realise that I probably have more in common with Bernard of Black Books than I like to admit. Certainly, the blog entries would suggest I cultivated his approach to customer service. Many of these should be consigned to history – but there are some that I hope may still appeal to a bookselling and book buying audience. So I shall offer them up here now and again!
Some people are never satisfied . (First published Dec. 2006).
So here i am, polishing my leather with gay abandon, when a chap walks in.
He starts with the preliminary introduction of “Do you Sell books?”
I resist scornful comments about generally being more of an exhibition or library and say yes, we do try to. Then announces that he needs a copy of a woodcut. Particularly, it must be mid eighteenth century, by a botanical artist rather than an illustrator, and must be of an Oak leaf, and an acorn.
This sounds fairly specific to me – so it is with joy in my heart, and a slightly smug and self satisfied spring in my step that I go straight to the “Illustrators of Oak Leaves” department, where I find a perfect original print of an Oak Leaf, botanically produced, with an acorn to the side and a cross section of both Leaf and Acorn (let me know If I am boring you!!). Beautiful condition, printed in 1750 (For the less historical of you, the is about as “middle of the Eighteenth Century” as it is possible to get). And best of all, £4.
I show this to the chap. Of course you have already figured what is coming next………”It’s not quite what I had in mind”
I can now feel a wave of the Little Britain “Shop of Horrors” sketch floating over me. It was all I could do to resist shouting at him “What the f*&&K do you mean it’s not what you had in mind – Not Oaky enough for you? Want something a little less Acorny? Leave now and encumber my bookshop no more with your fetid presence” but I settled with a “Sorry that’s the best I can do”.
(Sobs sadly into his coffee mug and dreams of normal people.)
By the way – I was offered a book on Porcelain Pot Lids today!! I refused to buy it our of spite!
Sinks and Soda. (First published Dec. 2006).
Chap walks in
Comes up to the desk and announces that he has a ceramic Belfast / Butler type sink
He tells me that I have a lot of books
What should he use to clean it with?
Apparently the sink has no chips or damage!
I asked him if he had used Caustic Soda
And he replied no – he would try some immediately.
Next questions was about which Caustic Soda stockist I would recommend locally!!!