Customer: Forgotten my glasses, could you read the beginning of this book to me to see if I like it?
Do you have any old copies of Dickens? Bookseller: We've got a copy of David Copperfield from 1850 for $150. Customer: Why is it so expensive if it's that old?
Customer: This book has a couple of tears to some of the pages. Me: Yes, unfortunately some of the older books haven’t had as much love as they should have done from previous owners. Customer: So, will you lower the price? It says here it’s £20. Me: I’m sorry but we take into account the condition of the books when we price them; if that book was in a better condition, it would be worth a lot more than £20. Customer: Well, you can’t have taken this tear here into account *points to page* or this one here *points to another page* because my son did those two minutes ago. Me: So, the book is now more damaged than it was before, because of your son? Customer: Yes. Exactly. So will you lower the price?
CUSTOMER: Is your poetry section split up into rhyming and non-rhyming sections? BOOKSELLER: No, it’s just in alphabetical order. What kind of poetry are you looking for? CUSTOMER: Rhyming. Preferably iambic pentameter, in poems of no more than ten lines, by a female poet. But, other than that, I don’t mind.
Bookshop Customer: 'Who wrote the bible?' Customer's friend: 'Jesus.
Perhaps that is the best way to say it: printed books are magical, and real bookshops keep that magic alive.