Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open.
But, real booklovers came there in very few numbers. Our shop had an exceptionally interesting stock, yet I doubt whether ten per cent of our customers knew a good book from a bad one.
First edition snobs were much commoner than lovers of literature, but oriental students haggling over cheap textbooks were commoner still, and vague-minded women looking for birthday presents for their nephews were commonest of all. Although the store stocked some really good books, but the rarity of really discerning book-readers made Orwell uncomfortable.
Some came looking for first edition books, apparently looking for something new and exciting. There were the ill-funded students from Asia who bargained over prices. Some elderly women, with no knowledge of books at all, came looking to buy some to be given away as birthday presents to younger folks.
Many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop. But apart from these there are two well-known types of pest by whom every second-hand bookshop is haunted.
Some of the visitors to the shop were clearly quite vexing in their nature. Some old ladies vaguely wanted to buy books fit for invalids as if, invalid people have different literary taste.
There were other elderly ladies who wanted books about whose name, author or content they remembered nothing barring the fact that it had a red cover. Satisfying such customers was a frustrating job for Orwell. One is the decayed person smelling of old breadcrusts who comes every day, sometimes several times a day, and tries to sell you worthless books.
The other is the person who orders large quantities of books for which he has not the smallest intention of paying. In our shop we sold nothing on credit, but we would put books aside, or order them if necessary, for people who arranged to fetch them away later.
Scarcely half the people who ordered books from us ever came back. It used to puzzle me at first. What made them do it? They would come in and demand some rare and expensive book, would make us promise over and over again to keep it for them, and then would vanish never to return.
But many of them, of course, were unmistakable paranoiacs. They used to talk in a grandiose manner about themselves and tell the most ingenious stories to explain how they had happened to come out of doors without any money — stories which, in many cases, I am sure they themselves believed.
A very old sickly person used to come to the shop to pester the owner to buy some of the old books he had brought for sale. He used to pester Orwell to buy his stuff. There were a few others of a different type. They came, grandly ordered some good number of books, but never turned up again to buy them.
The shop offered no credit, but faithfully kept the ordered books aside for the customers to come later and buy them. However, the people seldom came to redeem their orders. Some came in to boast about their glorious pasts.Booklover's Corner was the inspiration for the book-selling passages in Aspidistra and also the source for his essay "Bookshop Memories".
In February he was forced to seek other lodging and moved to 77 Parliament Hill. Gary Foley's personal Koori History page, with monthly special features on aspects of the Aboriginal struggle, photos, essays, and action.
australian internet bookshop. internet bookshop: selling books since order 2 or more books: receive 20% discount!! po box , annandale nsw , australia. Tangible products can be directly experienced, seen, touched, smelt, tasted and tested, probably in advance of purchase.
Intangible products on the other hand can’t be tried out in advance. Since "Bookshop Memories" is a reminiscence of a real part of George Orwell's life, it is true that in one sense the memory is the thesis. Royal Army Medical Corps in the Second World War, The Wartime Memories Project.