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20 Things Overheard In Bookshops

Claire Handscombe


Claire Handscombe moved from Europe to DC in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but actually – let’s be honest – because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan, and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives. She also hosts the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing. Blog: the Brit Lit Blog. Twitter: @BookishClaire

Bookshops are wonderful places. Obviously, they’re full of books, which is enough to make them wonderful, but they’re also full of interesting people who love books. Our kind of people, in other words. And it’s always fun to eavesdrop on those people.

Kudos to the person who thought of this response immediately and not in the shower the next day.

I can see how this would get heated.

When asking for recommendations, specificity is key.

Like this would stop us…

No, no it’s not.

Although I can see how it would be confusing…

This person has their priorities right. But I hope they got cake too.


So young, so much still to learn…

Unsure what to buy for someone else? Just get them all the words. They can make their own book.

Parenting done right.

This is how you warm an author’s heart.

Yep yep yep.

We believe in you too, Eric!

Where do you stand on this hot-button issue?

Yep, we’re old.

It’s definitely this simple.

I mean…fair point?

Ah, yes, don’t we all…

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