What is Love? Love is a suit of armour with which to protect the soul, it is a shield to deflect the arrows of doubt, it is the sword to vanquish hate. Love lights the path, it warms the soul, it holds us up and it drives us on, it is the net which catches us when we fall – we have little if we do not have love.
The signs are easily missed, but their gradual emergence lifts the heart a little each time you notice them. The afternoons stay lighter a little longer, the mornings too are waking a little earlier, it’s not the full dawn chorus, but there are some hardy birds out there giving a good tune, and the eager robustness of snowdrops belies their delicate visage – these little chaps are always first to the party – the winter weather may still be in full flow, but nature pulls back the curtain a little and gives us these glimpses of brighter things to come, and how welcome they are.
These are the weekends for hunkering down – the rat-a-tat-tat of the rain against the window, a swirling wind calling the tune to the dancing trees, the interloping sleet a portent of colder things to come – the garden is a riot of inclement weather. When mother nature is in a mood like this, best keep our heads down and wait for the storm to pass.
We had a power-cut on Thursday afternoon – ‘Lights Out, No Throttle’ – everything stops. Our vulnerabilities at loosing something which we take for granted only come into focus when we loose it. You may be able to read a book with the light of a simple candle, but you can’t ship it to the other side of the world, operate the till for a Click & Collect order or even answer the phone, without electricity. And so it is for the myriad of interconnected systems and processes which make the world go ’round and we take for granted – we rarely think twice about them. The power company have been able to restore some of the supply, enough for us to work, but they’re still working at the problem in a large hole in the ground behind the shop – we should never take granted the power behind a simple switch.
Whilst the shop is closed, it seemed like a good time to start getting more and more of our books online, not just our Signed Editions. It’s a work in progress (!) and stretches the mind, but it’s immensley enjoyable. The combination of data and character in trying to create a website which is a reflection of the physical shop is a wonderful challenge. Every day is a school day, and learning something new is what keeps the mind fresh and active. In the coming weeks more and more of the shop will be able to be viewed online – the bookcases in the shop are reflected by the categories on the website, we’ll be adding more and more images and perhaps even some film to give you view of what the shop looks like. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, then please drop us a note by email or give us a call and we’ll track down that book for you.
The cards which this year is dealing make for an odd hand, add in policy which makes it difficult to know which game you’re playing – is it poker, whist or just plain snap – and you have the classic gambler’s conundrum, do you stick or twist? Bookselling by its very nature is for the curious, and in this age of stiff competition from the lightly taxed, it means, regardless of the hand we’re dealt, we’re more inclined to twist – it keeps us on the front foot, keeps us curious.
It’s rather strange, but for a shop which is closed, we’ve been unbelievably busy – and for that we thank each and every one of you – without you, there wouldn’t be us. The phone calls and emails and visits to our order collection counter have stretched us (and our packaging supplier!) like never before – who would have thought that a global pandemic of catastrophic proportions would lead to a re-discovery of the simplest of pleasures – the reading of a book.