1 September 2013

Letters II

We receive so many bonkers and lovely letters and emails from our appreciative, enthusiastic and very jolly readers at both the small publisher and independent bookshop for which I work so consistently that sometimes I worry that I do not pay all of them their deserved attention. I fear that I could end up taking these bibliophilic outpourings for granted, and this absolutely must not happen.

We have postcards and greetings cards and photographs and drawings and long beautifully handwritten letters posted to us every week, and it is the most cheering thing to slice all these words free with the silver letter opener. So cheering that we have made space on the daily-use-database for a 'corner of good cheer'. This corner holds snippets of delicious comments from our readers - funny, eccentric and heartening.

A letter arrived at the bookshop all the way from Australia the other day. I will transcribe it here (changing the name) as it pretty well made my heart shatter into a million pieces at the end of a long day unpacking and packing up books in a manic tap-gun delirium.

Dear S Fox,
Your ‘gift to a friend’ offer.
I wish to thank you most sincerely for your above service on behalf of my dear friend in Scotland. The book was Island Summers: Memories of a Norwegian Holiday, chosen by me for its vivid evocative value. That it achieved its purpose is apparent from the response I received and partly quote here in some detail in spite of testing your patience:

On the basis that you are the only Edward in my life I am assuming that the exciting parcel that I received today with a card saying, ‘With love from Edward’, is from you. If I am wrong I am stuck!

The book was gift wrapped in thick, dark green paper and tied with a narrow, scarlet satin ribbon. Very elegant. The book itself has a very pretty cover – a seascape in pale blues and pinks – and smells gorgeous. Did you order it online or choose it yourself in their London bookshop? I shall be very cross if you have been in London without telling me…

I can’t wait to start it, but I’m going to force myself to put it on one side till I am able to savour it. This week is going to be hectic and I want to relax and enjoy it. Very many thanks for the kind thought…

You see, as you well know, books mean many things to many people. Your thoughtful action has brought two hearts, about as far distant as it is possible to be on this planet, together as one.

Yours sincerely,

(Dr) Edward Swinton
Oh boy, that last line just about kills me.

1 comment:

Frances said...

Sigh xx