Travels in the Tardis with Booksellers B & B : Just North

 An early morning at a school fete and a book fair then off after lunch north to Port Stephens. A good set of books has been bought on E-bay for very little money but pickup only so we check in to a campsite and go in search of dinner before calling in to collect the books. A pleasant couple: he is a long distance truck  driver, she has just retired and they are shedding themselves of their belongings before he retires and they take off permanently in their large caravan. We chat for some time before returning to set up camp.

The weather is fine and sunny, the fish are biting so our days there are extended. As usual, one day is set aside for buying. A possible special order is found at a charity shop and then just as we are leaving a real gem is put out on sale: a particularly good pop-up book on the Titanic so that gets bought as well. One of the bookshops produced nothing of interest: small & overcrowded and the bookseller reading at his desk.

The second proved elusive. Even the Post Office didn’t know where it was. Eventually we run it to earth in a back alley off one of the main streets just before 4.00 p.m. It looks promising. Well laid out & well lit but as we open the door we are told:  ”I’m closing in a few minutes. You can have a quick look round but don’t think you can stay for half an hour”. How welcoming!

He asks: “What if we’re buying?” as he reaches out to pick a possible special order from the shelf. “No, I’ve got a life” she says so we leave pondering the incomprehensibility (to us) of someone turning away a customer

Coming home, we call in to The Entrance to Richards Old Books. Richard was a very good friend to us as we were starting out in bookselling and we bought vast quantities of books from him at the beginning. Sadly he died some years ago and his wife has kept the shop on but it never seems the same without seeing Richard there. Two books bought: one for a customer & the other a pretty good bet for sales.

-Contributed by Barbara & Bill McLennan (The Book Collector)

Leave a Reply