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Reflections from a Bookshop Window [Paperback]

Clive Linklater
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 22 May 1997 --  

Product details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Breese Books; New edition edition (22 May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 094753301X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0947533014
  • Product Dimensions: 21.1 x 13.2 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,797,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This collection of anecdotes offers an insight into working in the booktrade - with booksellers and the customers. The author runs a second-hand bookshop in Hastings.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bookseller 1 Mar 2005
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The bookseller in this book has written a hilarious selection of anecdotes about his time in the booktrade. I found myself chuckling out loud at several passages and recognised many habits that are shared by myself and my bookworm friends. I even went to Hastings to track the shop down - imagine my delight to discover the author sitting at his counter! To cap it all one of the characters from his book walked in and Clive introduced me to him. A fabulous read, grab a copy while you can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scream 28 May 2008
By T
I totally agree with the previous reviewer. I can't understand why this isn't in mass print. I can only presume it's the subject matter but that shouldn't really make a difference as any funny book should be widely read.
The references to J.R. Hartley are a scream. The humour just keeps coming out of the pages when you least expect it.
The giving of a ten year old Guiness book of records to his son for Christmas was just brilliant humour that any comedian would kill to get the laughs I supplied at this.
Just brilliant... and you learn a bit about the book trade too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fabulous 28 July 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anyone who has ever browsed in a bookshop, owned and operated a shop of any kind or, who has ever visited Hastings will probably laugh aloud when reading this book. What a shame it was never taken up by a mainstream publisher. If I had the talent I would love to make a TV series out of it ... a sort of 'Open All Hours' for the used book trade.
By the way, the author's suggestion for making a fortune is not to be recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very funny 10 July 1999
By M. Mayer - Published on Amazon.com
I think this is really a jewel of a book! I fouond it in a bargain bin in a little book shop in Scotland. I am so glad I picked it up, it really is a great read. It's a funny, nonchalant tale of a lone book proprietor's scheme to turn two pounds into a fortune by year's end. I really enjoyed reading this book and would definately recommend it!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An account of the second-hand book trade overladen with sophomoric humor 29 Oct 2013
By R. M. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Clive Linklater runs a second-hand bookshop in Hastings, England. REFLECTIONS FROM A BOOKSHOP WINDOW is his take on the used book trade, at least how it existed in England around 1990 - i.e., before the Internet. What separates this book from most other books on second-hand bookselling is Linklater's campaign to be humorous from the first to the last page. Unfortunately, much of his humor is sophomoric at best, and it soon wears thin. I usually am receptive to books about the book trade, but here the slapstick became so annoying that I could barely manage to hang in there until book's end.

Some of Linklater's humor is scatological in nature. There is, for example, an entire chapter detailing, and comparing, the explosive effect on his bowels of an Indian curry and that of his wife's steam pudding. Another frequent motif is sex - for example, his sporadic efforts to cajole his wife into engaging in it, the story of "Wilson's willy", and how "every time I get on a train, I seem to end up sitting opposite a young girl wearing an incredibly short skirt". To that last observation, Linklater appends the parenthetical explanation, "The young girls are wearing the short skirts, not me" - which serves as an example of his frequent linguistic funnery.

It's not all silly. There are some decent jokes and there also are some cogent, witty social observations, such as this one on the definition of the poor: "According to the Labour Party, the poor are those who cannot afford satellite television and a timeshare apartment on the Costa Del Sol. According to the Conservative Party, the poor are those who live in cardboard boxes that are less than ⅞ths of a centimeter thick. * * * According to my definition, the poor are all those people who think that 100 is a lot of money."

And if one is patient and can tolerate the tomfoolery, one can learn about such things as book auctions, booksellers who are congenitally obnoxious to customers, and the mysterious phenomenon by which certain used books never find their way to a customer but instead are sold from dealer to dealer to dealer, seemingly ad infinitum. But again, this account of the second-hand book trade was from before the Internet, which I suspect has changed the business as much in the UK as it has here in the States. Even so, I suppose that book dealers still are plagued by prospective sellers expecting good, hard cash in return for boxes of Readers Digest condensed novels.
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