Hello ladies and gentlemen…and welcome.

I thought I’d start us off with some of the classics, which make up the beaten track so much so that roadworks are planned to re-lay the pavement.

I give you….

Now don’t be snobby.

Been here before? Did you run screaming before you’d even had time to reach the poetry section at the back? Probably because an army of camera-clicking tourists (no specific nation in mind) were gawping, their fanny packs knocking books off tables, asking whether Shakespeare used to come her arrrrfen.

I understand your fear.

But the trick is to perform a matrix-style leap, running along the bookshelves, past Joyce and Dick Francis, and get to the stairs. Up here, in exhange for working a couple of hours a day, you can kip for free on one of the old sofas. Also, if you’re lucky, you might get to catch a book reading AND wine tasting. Tomorrow, for example, I’m hoping to pop over to taste some of Jean-Marc Espinasse’s Carignan from the South of France after Ann Mah’s reading from ‘Kitchen Chinese’.



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