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Independent Bookshop Week - Tom

What have you missed most about the shop? I’ve really missed the books, but also the people in the shop – it’s so nice to be among a community of readers again.

Have you read any great books during lockdown? A few spring to mind, I discovered the delights of fantasy author Andrew Ryan and his Raven’s Shadow trilogy. I also read Pages & Co by Anna James and was transported back to my childhood with some of my favourite characters. Finally, I really enjoyed Stephen Fry’s Mythos with its blend of narrative and non-fiction that was very entertaining to read.

If you were to live where the last book you read took place, where would you be? I would be in a magical bookshop in London, in a world where characters can leave the pages they’re written on and readers can travel in the novel they’re reading. This is the world of Anna James’ Pages & Co and is fantastic escapism for the current times.

Which fictional character would you most like to be? A difficult question, possibly Crowley the demon from the brilliant book Good Omens, or another Terry Pratchett creation would be Rincewind the wizard. Jim Butcher’s Tavi would be a great character to be, particularly if I wanted magical powers, but unfortunately the world he lives in is ravaged by war. I think I would really like to be Will, the protagonist of the Ranger’s Apprentice by Jonathan Flanagan, a character who I grew up reading and possibly my favourite character ever.

Which book would you most like to see made into a film? It depends on how well it was done; I’m still recovering from the changes made to How To Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell. I’d love to see them make the Wayfarers series by Becky Chambers made into a movie, but the technology required to get the space effects may be beyond any studio’s budget.

Who is your favourite author? I'm not sure I have just one, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman and Becky Chambers are the top three but to pick one of them above the others would be impossible.

What was the last book that made you cry? Only one book has ever made me cry and that was Lost Stories by Jonathan Flanagan. It was a book of short stories about Will published after the main Ranger’s Apprentice series was finished. Will had a horse called Tug who had stood by him loyally through 10 books and then was mauled by a wolf in an accident. It was very upsetting.