Small Plays About My Day

… tiny true dramas in a Charing Cross Road bookshop

Secret Book

Posted on | October 17, 2009 | No Comments

Man with book in a plastic sleeve: Could someone value this book for me?
Jan: We don’t value books here. Our book buyer works by appointment only.
Man with book: But can you just look at it? It’s something a bit special.
Jan: The best thing is to phone the book buyer and describe it.
Man with book: Ha ha, it’d be hard to describe it. Doesn’t officially exist, see?
Jan: Yes?
Man with book: Secret government book. Well, it’s supposed to be secret, but I’ve got a copy. Can’t find it on the British Library catalogue, doesn’t officially exist.
Jan: Can I see?
(Man takes out a scruffy copy of the Geographical Handbook of France.)
Jan: We’ve got two copies in the next room.


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  • "In a town like London there are always plenty of not quite certifiable lunatics walking the streets, and they tend to gravitate towards bookshops, because a bookshop is one of the few places where you can hang about for a long time without spending any money."
    George Orwell