The hawthorn blossom along Skimmingdish Lane is so fulsome at the moment, hedgerows with branches darting out in every direction, laden with white flowers like a head of mad, old white hair in need of a good cut. We have a few barbershops in town and on Monday they’ll be busy cutting their way through three months of growth, rooms full of chatter and the snip snip of scissors and sweep sweep of brushes – there is work to be done in those chairs and we wish them, and all our fellow shopkeepers in town, the best of luck in what is sure to be the strangest of days. The last thirteen or so months have taught all of us who have had to close our shops that fortitude and resilience are attributes which can see us through the darkest of times, for some those times have been, and have just become, some of the saddest and darkest ever experienced – but those times pass, the stone rolls on, it’s time to get back in the chair.
‘There is no Frigate Like a Book’ by Emily Dickinson.
There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul
Over the last year there have been many books which just seem to have hit the spot at a time when they’re most relevant and needed – and this week is no different – from taking control with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg to digging deep and battling on with explorer Colin O’Brady (it may have been a bit chilly these last few days, but not the chilly Colin has endured!); the calm and beauty of birdsong with twitcher Steven Lovatt washes gently over us, whilst Ferran Adrià turns cooking into cuisine; we’ve collaborated with author Santa Montefiore and produced a lovely bookplate which Santa has signed and we’ve started putting into all her paperback novels starting with the Deverill stories; we have two extraordinary Collector’s Limited Editions – the first a monograph from designer Paul Smith, the second a journey through the life of pop phenomenon Rihanna. And finally, another superstar of music and screen, Delta Goodrem publishes her first book this Spring – we’re thrilled to have been asked to offer her signed editions here in the UK.
As the lockdown starts coming to an end, we too will be casting off and setting sail on Monday – there is a world of adventure and joy to be had within these four walls and we can’t wait to share them with you – a vessel full of books only truly becomes a Book Shop when it has its customers on board – the welcome will be warm, the smiles will be broad, we’ve missed you.