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When is a two pound book not a two pound book?

Having returned from la belle France yesterday, I thought I’d give T the imposition of volunteering this morning with no notice.

On the upside there was a gentle trickle of punters which pushed our takings into three figures in just a few hours.

We also (by which I mean myself, T and customers) managed to cover topics including Stuart Broad’s new fame, the death of Ted Kennedy and a brief lamentation on the dearth of our countries’ foreign language skills.

I also vacuumed the floor, which I am proud to say I achieved with relatively few serious injuries to either volunteers or customers.

I still write these words with a degree of worry though, as without a manager our shop carries on rudderless.

As if proof, someone appears to have set up a new deal in my absence, 4 books for a remarkably and perhaps worringly cheap £1.

I appreciate the effort to shift the mountain of books we currently have in stock. However we have only recently placed a £1 lowest limit on what we charge for books. This forced me into a ridiculous conversation with a member of the public this morning.

I’d like to buy this book please a young lady very reasonably proposes.

For those of you who enjoy the details it was Margaret Atwood’s The Oracle, incidentally a set text for Female Canadian and American Literature which is a first year module you have to do at the University of Nottingham if you oversleep to such an extent that it’s the only one left to register on.

That’ll be two pounds please, I reply.

But isn’t it four books for one pound. She quite accurately states.

Yes but this book has two pounds on it. For the benefit of the reader it was originally priced at £7.99, so I was as you’ll all know, showing rigorous dedication to STC pricing guides.

Ok I won’t bother then. She replied.

But I say in a desperate attempt to keep the sale if you go and get three more books, you can have them for free and this book for half price

Ok, she said, looking at me as though I was as strange and inexplicable as the deal which I had just offered her.

I understood her bemusement. It is this sort of situation makes it quite clear to me that we are rather lacking in quality control at the moment. To prevent me having to look like an idiot again (well at least less so than usual) I do hope that T is able to trumpet our need for a manager at the Midlands’ shop meeting in Kinoulton on the twenty sixth and at the Birmingham conference.

However I will make another call out for anyone with retail experience living in the East Midlands who has ambition, enthusiasm and some spare time to come and help us.

Which leads me to only one further question, where on earth is Kinoulton?

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