There's doesn't even have to be a reason for having the moment of panic, it just happens. Leaving you feeling out of place and wondering when you'll be thrown out, laughed at or just looked down on for being that idiot.
This happened to me when I first entered this week's boutique bookshop. The room was small, the bookseller happily chatting to an obviously local customer, and I panicked. Rather than saying hello and exploring, I got myself to the fiction shelves, stood with my back to the other people in the room and froze. I don't know why – I've certainly visited enough bookshops to know none of those fears would come true – but I did, and it took a good long dose of reading the spines on the shelves to banish the fear.
Thankfully, the nerves abated (helped by a great selection of fiction) and I was finally ready to turn around.
You know those rare occasions when you meet someone and instantly know you'll become friends? It was like that. Followed by a teeny bit, okay, a lot of disappointment as I realised I live 100+ miles away and so maybe I'd have to pause on the excitement of friends.
Making the most of a rare opportunity to buy sci-fi from an indie, I eventually selected Peter F Hamilton's The Reality Dysfunction, but so diverse was the selection on offer I could easily have come away with any number of other titles.
The Bookshop Kibworth may not be near enough for me to pop into on a weekly* basis, but it's a delightful place to visit and an excellent reminder that if you're in a bookshop there's nothing to be nervous about: you're in the presence of friends.
The Bookshop Kibworth
52 High Street, Kibworth, Leicestershire, LE8 0HQ
Tel: 0116 2791121
*It is 100- miles from my parents' house, so I will be returning at the next available opportunity. And encouraging them to take regular trips to Kibworth too.