Friday 28 February 2014

Fantastic Mr Slightly Foxed

You know those conversations when you're talking to someone and they light up with the enthusiasm of their subject?

What they're saying is obviously important too, but at times like this it's the way their face lights up, how animated their movement becomes and the general sense of excitement they give off that really captures your attention. As though every fibre of their being is smiling and you can't help but enjoy the experience and smile too.

Such was the enthusiasm of the bookseller when I asked for his help to select a book. I'd already explored the new and secondhand fiction and found more than enough to capture my interest, but as I was in Slightly Foxed - the bookshop connected to the publisher of the same name - it seemed only right my purchase be one of their own books and so I'd asked for help.

I can't remember the words the bookseller used when helping me to whittle down my choices, but the friendly enthusiasm and clear enjoyment he'd had in reading the books were highly infectious as he answered my questions.

Selecting A House in Flanders by Michael Jenkins, I now look forward to finding the same pleasure in reading as I did in hearing about the book during my visit.

I'm sorry for the brevity of this entry - I loved the bookshop: the wall of new fiction as you walk in, opposite a wall of secondhand books, with more fascinating collections and subjects downstairs; the extras; the friendliness of all the staff; and how light and spacious the small, cosy area felt - but the truth is, the highlight of this visit was talking to the bookseller.

Since my visit I've read both parts of their website, for the bookshop and the publisher, and been fascinated by all the wonderfully bookish things they do to celebrate and reintroduce us to 'lost' reads. And I've agonised over how to do it justice here (it's simpler if you just check out the shop and site for yourselves).

But most of all I've been aware that - as much as I love my bookshop visits - I'm not sure I've ever been able to achieve the same levels of infectious and welcome enthusiasm for my subject as I encountered on that day.

Slightly Foxed
123 Gloucester Road,
London, SW7 4TE
Tel: 020 7370 3503

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