Friday, 6 January 2017

The rudeness of booksellers and old Thanet pictures.

In view of the news items about the rude bookseller op north, I thought I ought to say something. I think in general sense secondhand bookshops and their staff tend to be misunderstood.

Common misconceptions tend to be.

There is some desire to sell books.

There is some intention to make a profit.

The customer is in any sense right.

Joking apart the sad thing is how few bookshops of any type now exist, in fact outside of the essentials, food and clothes shopping and some very basic gift shopping there is very little left in terms of town centre shopping recreation anywhere.

Back in the day, 60s 70 type of kidney the rudest bookseller was generally thought to be Richard Wildman in Bedford. People did indeed come for miles just to experience him being rude to them. There is something of a tradition here which was started by a seventeenth century Venetian bookseller who having sold an incunable changed his mind, rushed out of his shop, stabbed the customer and retrieved the book.

What worries me in the whole business is that much of the recent rudeness seems to have been in some sense an accident with a sense of regret associated. I mean surely if you are going to be rude, it should be.

Deliberate.

Enjoyable.

Some sort of catharsis.

Oh well, regret, is the curse of modern times. 


Allthatsaid the four of us working in the bookshop today have been on our guard, and our customers, bless em, have been enthused by the recent news. We all did our best but there is a shortage of incunabula these days.

Very small watercolour sketch in the Belgian Cafe tonight about 4 inches across, I spent most of the time eating my steak. Sorry it's not much, 000 and 1 brush size,

Here are the old Thanet pictures














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