Never been here before – and frankly somewhere I have long had nightmares about. A whole shop or office full of unsold books is one thing – a whole town? Which outer circle of the damned is that? How many books? How many bookshops?
I suppose what I really need is Jane the sat-navigator to pilot me round and tell me what to buy. Perhaps we should be developing an ABA book-nav for the purpose.
Began at Francis Edwards. A cheery welcome, a cup of coffee and chat with Greg and Debs. Bought some books – two I’d never seen before. Just the thing to tickle a jaded palette. Next door to the Ardens – another friendly welcome. And down Castle Street to Sally Forwood of Mostlymaps.
Apologised in person for the delayed appearance of “British Map Engravers”, but it has now gone to press and will be back and bound by the end of the month. Boz Books – two more books I’d never seen before, leavened with some light gossip and mild rumour. And so on, round, and round, the town.
Rather surprised at some booksellers who simply don’t seem to care about their books at all. Why sell books if you don’t like them? But that was certainly not the case at the Poetry Bookshop. Definitely a favourite. Slightly bizarre interlude there when BBC Cornwall came through on my mobile wanting to speak about a spate of seemingly professional thefts from the charity bookshops of Truro. Want me to pontificate at some unearthly hour well before dawn on Monday. Don’t hold breath.
Finished the afternoon with David Rees (Kestrel Books) and his immaculate stock of modern firsts. And adjourned for tea with The First Lady – or would have done if the award-winning tea-rooms were actually open at teatime. No awards from us – and just give the others back. Teatime is four o’clock – is it not? Not open at four – not a tea-room.