I walked up Kingston’s mean main street the other day with Jenny on her heelies to buy her a fruit smoothie, so naturally persuaded her to drop in on British Bookshops (previously known as Sussex Stationers) en route. Jenny recognises the Kingston danger zones, and knows that this is the only one between our house and the fruit smoothie stand, so she tolerated my request.
As usual, I am amazed by British Bookshops’ (as I must now call it) marketing speed and prices. John Connolly’s Book of Lost Things was the featured paperback right by the door at £3.99, billed already as the Times book group selection (as of the day before, so pretty quick off the mark, assuming no prior knowledge). Although I told myself I would not read another John Connolly after the disappointment of The Black Angel, on flicking through it, I was tempted. Then there was a big shelf of new hardbacks at half price: the latest Mary Higgins Clark (a favourite of mine) at £9.99 (list price £17.99, Amazon price £11.87), Nikki French (ditto) at £7.99, Lee Child at £8.99, quite a few at £6.99 and so on. Next was a vast shelf of latest paperbacks, mostly at £3.99. I did manage to tear myself away without buying anything, mainly because of the impatience of my companion, but also because of my three-figure TBR pile at home.