How most people mark the passage from childhood into adulthood, I do not know; I marked it by my first solo visit to a bookshop, unaccompanied by adults who would tell me what to buy, clutching a few notes that represented my first ever earnings.Nilanjana goes on to mourn the imminent demise of one of her favourite bookstores.
It began badly, with the lady at the counter suggesting the What Katy Did books. My diffidence disappeared in the face of what I saw as a slight. “Oh, I’ve read all of those ages ago—when I was small,” I said loftily. She didn’t allow even the flicker of a smile to cross her face.
Instead she led me deftly into a discussion of reading, cross-examined me subtly, and produced Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird with expert judgement. I still have my copy; ragged, dog-eared, sadly tatty, but then it’s the first book I devoured as a paying adult.
What is it with our cities? We permit the sale of underwear strung on funny shaped coathangers on railway pedestrian overbridges, we allow rip-off electronic goods to be sold on the footpaths of our busiest business districts, but we're closing down booksellers? We can feel a rant coming on, but we're tired. Here, you go read the rest of the piece.
What? It is August? Never mind.