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Hello, Is there anybody in there? Can anybody hear me?

by on October 28, 2012

I’ve had many strange and wonderful experiences in my brief 50 odd years.  On the whole, I’m grateful for most of them.  Yes, one or two I could do without, and I’m a big fan of the saying: it may have been a mistake, but I enjoyed it enough to make that mistake again!  Obviously, it excludes the mistake of camping in France, but that’s another story for another day.  Possibly.

Where was I? Oh yes, strange experiences.  Well, yesterday was one.  I’ve sometimes had dreams about being alone in bookshops.  Just me, the books, and a whole evening or night to enjoy myself.  I could echo the cry of Catullus, the Roman poet, begging the horses of the night to slow or stay their course to allow me more time before the day came.  OK, he wanted longer in the arms of his lover, but in the absence of such an entity in my life a deserted bookshop would do me very well, I dreamt.

Strangely then, I was bemused by the experience of being entirely alone in a bookshop.  Possibly it had something to do with the fact I was there with a pile of shiny new copies of my books, ready to foist them on the unsuspecting, er market them to an eager and willing audience I mean.  And neither said audience, nor indeed the staff, were around.  For ages.  Now, I’ve grown used to being ignored.  My ex used to ignore me for days at a time, unless she wanted something.  I’ve even learned the harsh fact that selling funny fantasy to readers who want chic lit, crime, or (even worse) misery memoirs is a hard, uphill battle.  But this was like the Marie Celeste, only with books instead of food.

Luckily for me I can get nourishment in many ways, and browsing shelves of books provides food for the soul, so my day wasn’t wasted as I came home with an eclectic and desireable wish list.  My long suffering daughter is likely to find a bizzare menu this week.  Perhaps I’ll manage a sandwich cake that looks like a cake, rather than ( as she said kindly) a chocolate sandwich…

And the next time I dream of an empty bookshop, perhaps I’ll populate it with androids and electric sheep…..

Oh, by the way, I’ve recently upgraded my website, so if you haven’t visited it for a while, go and have a laugh.



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  1. Astonishing! Am totally speechless!
    Btw, though, can’t click on your link. 😛

  2. This blog brought back fond memories, since I once got locked in a bookstore when I was a teen. I was in the back, looking over books, and didn’t realize the store had closed! When I went to the front to pay for my selection, I found myself locked in. It took awhile to catch the attention of the mall security guard, and he nearly arrested me before deciding I wasn’t a burglar. After all, how many burglars break into bookstores? I’m sure Phillip K. Dick would agree that androids and electric sheep are much better companions than rent-a-cops.

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