It certainly does. Now more than ever. Although in this case Reading Matters is the name of a brand new bookshop in Chapel-en-le-Frith in Derbyshire. Who in their right mind opens a bookshop in a smallish town in times like these? Lyndsey and her business partner Sue do.
I was alerted to this momentous news by Stephen Booth, who had been called in to sign books on their first day, but probably not to cut any satin ribbons. Reading Matters didn’t strike me as a ribbon-cutting type of shop, but I could be wrong. It has been known to happen.
The Resident IT Consultant and I turned up a little after the opening, when Stephen was already in full swing chatting to the Chapel-en-le-Frithers who had come to buy books. Perhaps also to taste the mulled wine and the mince pies.
The Market Street premises are tiny, but lovely. Walls in Bookshop Red, naturally, and shelves in Mouse’s Tail. Quite. Great colour, whatever the person who named the paint was thinking. Lovely fireplace, and nice and warm on this chilly Derbyshire morning. Luckily for Stephen, no snow, or he might not have made it across the Peak District. And the dawn rain had disappeared to give way to a smilier Saturday morning, just the way you want it when you open a bookshop. (I know I always do.)
The shop isn’t fully stocked yet, but they had Stephen’s books, and the teen section through the low doorway for us shorter readers had Terry Pratchett to offer. So the important things in life were present. They also sell secondhand books, and the Resident IT Consultant commenced his usual bargain hunt.
There is a garden at the back, where I visualised myself sitting out on a (warmer) sunny day, whereas the Resident IT Consultant busied himself digging it out for an Oxford style Blackwell’s. (In his mind, I hasten to add. We don’t demolish shops on a first meeting if we can help it.)
I chatted to the ladies of Reading Matters, and I chatted to Stephen, who did his best not to ask what the fat witch was doing at yet another of his events. I had him counting his books again, and we talked some more about those excellent Swedes who like him so much.
Cough. Pardon me.
Deciding to make some space in the shop for others, we drove home the scenic route. Not getting lost, just the scenic route, because the other way of exiting Chapel-en-le-Frith didn’t work out as planned. Nice day for a drive in the sunshine, looking at the Derbyshire countryside.
In fact, a nice day for Reading Matters.