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Sunday, 21 June 2015

The day a banana got in the way in the bookshop

There was a slight kerfuffle as I walked into my favourite bookshop yesterday. Two new people were on duty and one of them was battling with the till and the credit card machine to everyone's delight and consternation..

 The Saturday help, as they were billed, were slightly older than the usual type doing  work experience. They did know lots about writing books and the publishing world but when it came to till skills, let's just say they were distinctly below average. No, that's not true -  one of them was, the other wasn't even let loose on such a delicate instrument while I was there.

But did this matter? No, not at was all part of Independent Bookshop Week 2015 , and author Nina Stibbe and publisher and writer Jon Reed were here at the Kibworth Bookshop to promote the week itself and the bookshop. Oh and the publication of the paperback edition of Nina's delightful novel "Man at the Helm," a book which made me smile, cry at one stage, and want to bash the father character around the head with something more substantial than a mere paperback.

Nina threw herself into her new role....with a little help from Debbie James who owns the bookshop.

After seeing what happened when Nina tried to use the credit card machine, I decided to pay cash for my purchases. Even this, was not without difficulty. Nina couldn't get the till open...and then she found her half eaten banana was in the way.

More laughter....Nina is as warm, irreverent and as funny as her books, and so friendly.

And John Reed, the Saturday boy who was on coffee duty, gave service with a smile and made a lovely cup of coffee.

 I only know Jon Reed through Twitter....we both love listening to the Archers, and the Sunday morning tweetalong just wouldn't be the same without Jon's ascerbic, funny comments and filthy innuendos so it was great to meet him too and catch up on our shared Archers addiction.

It would have been so easy to stay in the bookshop for much longer  to soak up the banter, busyness and general all round happy atmosphere. But I had a drinks and lunch party to go to, Nina was there to sell books and chat, and Jon had more coffee to make and bags to fill, which they both did admirably.

Debbie was all smiles as usual, and once again, she makes you realise just how precious a local, independent bookshop is, and why it's importance in the community can't be underestimated. Long live independent bookshops everywhere.

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