Louis came into the shop to find Modern European History. He said that last time he came here there was a book he wanted and as he reached for it, someone else got it first. I could not remember this happening; there are never crowds in front of my shelves. But Louis was dismayed, he said the book was so close…I asked him what the book was but he couldn’t remember.

He came back again and considered The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, a paperback student’s edition with useful notes. He carried it around for a while. I found it later abandoned in the biographies. He walks hesitatingly,  carefully but carries no stick, he is cautious in front of the shelves. He won’t carry more than two books at one time; he has a lot of trouble with dialling incorrect numbers on his phone and finds it difficult to turn around. He loves to read. He is polite, enthusiastic and unfailingly kind. And this time he found The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett, a shining, warm gem of a book and from this book has decided to read Marcel Proust, the entire lovely series. He also wants a biography of Paul Keating and is keen to try Barbara Kingsolver, perhaps The Poisonwood Bible. He said to me: tell me some more great things to read….he said that his home is one mad library…

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