I might be preaching to the converted. (Well, I seriously hope so!) But don’t you just love Waterstones? Every time I go into my local store in Stratford-upon-Avon I feel like a kid in a sweet shop. I could spend hours reading all the little handwritten labels, telling you about the books on display. They remind me of the labels in Body Shop or Lush, but to me the products they are describing are even more interesting than any strawberry scented body wash, cocoa body butter or banana-flavoured lip balm.
I was in town yesterday to pick up some new specs (signs that I am losing the war with age) and really didn’t intend to go into the book shop. But I don’t seem to be able to pass the window any more without sticking my nose through the door. Perhaps it’s something to do with knowing that my work is now in there somewhere, among all those wonderful names and titles I have so long admired, like the newcomer at the an awards ceremony, surprised to be there but loving it. Perhaps it’s because I am naturally nosy, and curious to know what other writers are up to and which books are being given a plug. Or maybe it’s just because I can’t resist a good read, and love nothing more than the smell of a new book.
It’s especially nice, though, to be greeted with a smile and a warm hello, and thanks to my work for the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, and my One Day In Oradour book signing in the summer, some of the staff in Waterstones are now familiar faces. What lovely, helpful souls they are and please indulge me while I say a big thank you to them for their support and kindness (and, of course, for still having One Day In Oradour in such a prominent position, bless you!).
I came out of the shop clutching a shiny new purchase: the highly rcommended More Than This by Patrick Ness with its curiously appealing cover, complete with hole! I had just started reading The Light Between Oceans on my Kobo but the knowledge that there was a luscious new hardback on the bedside table was too powerful last night and I am already a couple of chapters in. If only I didn’t have to work today….!
By the way, if you are local to Stratford-upon-Avon, Waterstones in the HIgh Street are hosting a book signing with Julia Donaldson on Tuesday 8th October, from 10am until 11am. Organised by the Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival, tickets are £1 which is refundable against any purchase of one of Julia’s books. Book quick to avoid being disappointed!