An excellent start as we call in on the ABA’s newest recruit, Simon Beattie. He amazes us with the innovative design of his catalogues. Collectable in themselves. Quaritch-trained of course, so knows his books. We leave Chesham and Metroland in great heart that we have such good young booksellers as this.
Next stop Henley – and more delight. We call in on Diana at Way’s Bookshop. A friendly welcome. First-name terms with all the customers. One sitting in the corner tells us that he has been coming in every week for years – and can’t recall ever leaving empty-handed.
We buy some books. All seems happy and vibrant.
Next, round the corner to say hello to the Jonkers. I spy a number of books that I also have in stock – but not such copies as these. The whole shop seems full of the best copies one is ever likely to see.
Henley should be very proud of hosting two shops which in their very different ways are both exactly what bookshops should be.
The afternoon runs out. No time to get to see anyone else in this part of the world, save that we arrive in Wallingford just in time to catch Toby English.
Buy more books. Have a quick chat about the upcoming PBFA York bookfair. Now the most important of all the English fairs in his view. Something to ponder.