For an old friend, for Christmas.


i don’t believe bookshops should be clean or well-lit. They should be dark and dusty and ill-tended. Cats should perch on top shelves, scowling. Large, smelly dogs should wander the aisles, moulting. The staff should not wear a uniform. They should not smile unless so moved. They should be beautiful women and/or manifestly insane. The pricing should not make any sense. Cabbalistic manuscripts should be randomly wedged between books. Behind a row of encyclopaedias there will be a Crusader’s sword, covered in blood. One day you will realise that the surly, wall-eyed dwarf behind the counter is actually your favourite living writer; and then you will feel sick and leave in chagrin.




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