Drif's Guide >> Drifisms <<

"In wine bars they have a happy hour - the secondhand bookshop equivalent is different, its called the surly hour and it lasts all day".

"The most important part of a bookshop is that it should be open".


In printed guides and catalogues space is always at a premium. Drif, raised on the the absurdities of booksellers catalogue abbreviations, produced some beauties.

BSN                  Bibliographically subnormal
ETGOW            Easy to get on with
FARTS              Follows you around recommending the stock
GOB                 Grand old bore
KEENON          Keen on stocking if they could get it
KUTI                 Keeping up the image
NETGOW         Not easy to get on with
OOPS              Out of print books
OWOWS          Oversupplied with one way streets
POCS              Proliferation of charity shops
POCCIES         Ladies who work in charity shops
WAD                Worth a detour
WAP                Worth a pilgrimage
WYLAH            Watches you like a hawk


Alzheimer Special - A shop were the books are totally forgetable no matter how long you look at them.

Anoraksia Nervosa Special - A shop so cold that you have to bring your own heating, the strange thing is that most of the owners have a warmth of personality that nearly makes up for it.

A Samuel Beckett Special - A secondhand bookshop where it is not always possible to tell what is going on, the windows often have just two or three drearily strange books in them, it is not always obvious how to open the door and when you go in there is a strange sense of wonderment, especially about when the last person did, and what happened to him or her.

A Drif Special - A shop so low key that most dealers cringe at the thought of going in it which is precisely why I like it so much. The books are even lower rent than I am, but I am quite often in better condition than them...just.

Libricide Special - A libricide tears the colour plates out of the books and sells them separately.

Nouvelle Cuisine - A bookshop usually influenced by the Bookfairies which has a minimalist stock and books you have to have a degree in semiotics to understand the importance of.

Roast Beef - A bookshop which is attempting to sell the same books as were popular fifty years ago...it is not so much the books themselves that make a Roast Beef shop but the way the shops price and value them.

I hope these scraps have wetted your appitite for the real thing, if you're lucky you'll find a copy of one of the guides ...in a secondhand bookshop.

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