Independent Bookshop Week- Bea

What have you missed most about the shop? Obviously my colleagues! But I'm acutely aware I've missed casting my eyes over the endless bookshelves of future reading material - I only work in the shop part time, and I still feel like a customer when I walk in and see all the exciting things there are to look at.

Have you read any great books during lockdown? I have managed one full book - The Mirror And The Light, and it was every bit as brilliant as I hoped it would be, with lots of apt references to the plague. I have also started an old copy of Shirley Jackson short stories, The Lottery. Her stories are sinister and hilarious at once, and the prose is light and could have been written last year. Two gems in the book are The Witch, and After You, My Dear Alphonse - brilliant little portraits of kids being oblivious to adult prejudices and hangups. 

If you were to live where the last book you read took place, where would you be? Mid 16th Century England - awful all round. I'd need to be a prison guard, or a favoured pet, someone whose religion and loyalty aren't in question. Everyone else seems to be under suspicion and come off pretty badly sooner or later.

Which fictional character would you most like to be? The kid in Shirley Jackson's story, The Witch.

Which book would you most like to see made into a film? None! It's too risky. Although I am massively looking forward to a new adaptation of Rebecca by amazing British director Ben Wheatley, due out this year - I've never seen the Hitchcock one, and just read the book last year, and Wheatley is one of my favourite directors.

Who is your favourite author? For consistency I will choose Shirley Jackson, but I can't really pick a single one.

What was the last book that made you cry? Oh it will have been a kids' book. Can't You Sleep, Little Bear, I think. The pictures get me, as does being sentimental (and exhausted) while putting my kids to bed...