BLOG POST: You will find kindness in the corners of a bookshop

You will possibly find dust in those corners as well but that’s a different blog.

There are many ways to purchase a book. Some people don’t feel the safety or the conviviality of a bookshop is for them. They may prefer the anonymity of clicking a button and that’s okay. There are different tribes of people.  In our experience there are still lots of people who enjoy visiting a bookshop to buy their books.This is a fortunate fact and it’s why we are still in business. HMV came, went and returned! Debenhams, Woolies and M&S were not able to stick around. We are grateful to still be on the High Street and proud of the people we call ‘our’ customers. We have some wonderful encounters recently.

On international Women’s Day we were presented with these flowers by a young and thoughtful customer.  It was unexpected and with no purpose – other than to spread joy

During the same week we had several schools visiting.  Pupils from St Theresa’s School left with a a selection of books including Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf.   


A week later we received this message

Just a quick message to say a MASSIVE ‘Thank You’ for welcoming us so warmly into Red Lion Books yesterday. The children had a fabulous time browsing the shelves and buying some books. We distributed our new books today and began to have a read in class. My class have The Boy at the Back of the Classroom by Onjali Q Rauf. On opening the book in class, we spotted this at the beginning and wondered if you could tell us anything about it.

We messaged the award winning (and brilliant) author who verified that it was her and that she had indeed secretly visited the shop as a random act of love and light!

Later in the week, a polite and softy spoken man queued patiently despite the customer ahead of him having a complicated enquiry.  At the till he presented us with  3-D printed chess pieces saying that he had noticed our missing pieces.   He almost looked embarrassed about the gratitude we heaped on him, saying he wanted no payment . He also politely declined a photograph opportunity (for this blog!).  Another wonderful and selfless young human.  

We have customers who regularly deliver  Percy Pigs, fresh coffees, Greek treats,  Danish delicacies, homemade marmalade as well as a daily dispensing of stories, advice and jokes.  How lucky we are

As well as the odd bit of dust, you will always find the kindness.