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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    The Bookseller From Hell

    The end: Yorkshire Dales 'bookseller from hell' quits his shop





    Steve Bloom is selling Bloomindales in Hawes after a stream of complaints about his treatment of customers



    A man who earned a reputation as Britain’s rudest bookseller is to quit and “not a moment too soon”, according to relieved residents fed up with him driving tourists away from their Yorkshire Dales village.

    Hawes, the home of Wensleydale cheese, is saying goodbye to Steve Bloom, who admits he is a man who “doesn’t butter his parsnips” when dealing with members of the public.

    The 63-year-old hit the headlines earlier this year when the was criticised for asking visitors for a 50p entry fee to Bloomindales, his secondhand book shop in Hawes.

    The chairman of the local parish council branded him “the bookseller from hell” following a stream of complaints about his behaviour. Bloom admitted he was wrong to call one customer a “pain in the arse”. “I regretted it as soon as I said it,” he said.

    Bloom, who has said he is “not really a people person”, is selling up – partly to escape complaining customers.

    His policy of charging 50p entry – designed to stop browsers from wasting his time – caused constant rows with his customers, but he refused to back down.
    fter a storm of protest about his Basil Fawlty-esque rants at those who dared question his entry fee, he managed to avoid offending anyone for almost four months.

    But lately the outraged letters to the council have started again.

    This month two customers complained about him – one of them saying a group of 15 customers were so shocked by the “rude and patronising little man” they packed up and left town.

    Another wrote: “Hi, we had a pleasant visit to Hawes today, that is up until we visited the local bookshop Bloomindales. What a very unpleasant rude man this is. I asked for a specific author of book and he was trying to charge me to look around.

    “I felt very uneasy and uncomfortable in his shop and left straight away after this. I was so taken back and shocked that my family actually left Hawes altogether, such a shame the trip ended in this way, a discredit to Hawes.”

    But even as he announced he had sold up, Bloom was unapologetic and refused to accept he had been driven out by his enemies on the local council.

    ”I hope that none of the people who have been trying to drive me out are claiming any kind of victory, because it isn’t. I have left of my own free will,” he said.

    “It got very difficult sitting in my shop listening to people talking about me as the man who charges 50p entry. I will not miss the moaning. I’d be sitting there and have to listen to people saying ‘this is the shop that was on the news’ and ‘he’s the one who charges entry just to look at his books’ and it gets to me.

    “I gained a certain notoriety and I suppose much of it was of my own invention but I don’t have regrets.”

    He added: “The council were desperate to get rid of me but they didn’t manage. I won that battle.”

    Councillor John Blackie, who represents Hawes on Richmondshire district council, has led the campaign to force Bloom to either change his ways or leave the town, and once described him as “the bookseller from hell”.

    In an email to one of the most recent complainants he spelled out the town’s delight that he would be quitting.

    Blackie wrote: “In the opinion of very many local people, the parish council, and myself, it is not a moment too soon and we cannot wait to wave goodbye forever to a trader that in his appalling and utterly unacceptable attitude towards his customers (and it was not just visitors – he could be equally rude to local people) represents the very opposite of all we show and do to extend a very warm Upper Dales welcome to those that come to Hawes for a day out, for their holidays, as local people for their day-to-day business.”

    He is hopeful about the future: “If you call into the bookshop post-Bloom you will find the couple who have taken it on are very welcoming and have absolutely no intention of charging an entrance fee.”

  2. #2
    Cabbaged Member Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    No doubt he'll just sell on line like most other book dealers without the overheads of a shop and business rates.

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Aye, it's a tough game these days.

    My reasons for going into CM City are decreasing by the month.

    I kind of sympathise with the 50p charge, though it's business madness.

  4. #4
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    who admits he is a man who “doesn’t butter his parsnips” when dealing with members of the public.
    anyone who has had to work with the public on a daily basis will understand the anger and frustration that this man feels, but if one wants to gain a good reputation, expand ones customer/client base and increase ones income, one had better be prepared to smile frequently, swallow ones pride and "butter ones parsnips" and be sure to butter the buggers well.

    dealing with the increasingly ill mannered and aggressive public these days is annoying to say the least, what with the obesity, the yelling into the phones and the intrusions into ones personal space. even walking down a crowded street or joining a queue or negotiating an airport is a tortuous experience as one is forced into close proximity with the kind of people who under normal circumstances one would do everything in ones power to avoid and possibly wish dead.



    i know this bookshop in hawes, i visit the town frequently and have spent time in his store, and although i have never been charged to enter, i have had to put up with his angry nagging as i browse. "be careful with those books, i'll charge you for any damage or torn pages"

    hawes is a town for walkers and i suppose a shop full of wet and muddy booted timewasters warming themselves up or escaping the drizzle would be enough to tax the patience of any shopkeeper, let alone a yorkshireman, so i do have some pity for him.

    there is a wonderful dairy in hawes that produces wensleydale cheeses. (the wensleydale creamery)


    http://www.wensleydale.co.uk/

    one can wander round the shop there and gorge oneself on samples of their cheeses.

    the wensleydale pantry on the main street in the town serves delicious comfort food in huge portions in an old fashioned tea room setting.

  5. #5
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    anyone who has had to work with the public on a daily basis will understand the anger and frustration that this man feels, but if one wants to gain a good reputation, expand ones customer/client base and increase ones income, one had better be prepared to smile frequently, swallow ones pride and "butter ones parsnips" and be sure to butter the buggers well.
    That's why this story struck me.

    My wife and have entertained the idea of owning a bookshop for years, but I'd be so frustrated from about 4pm onwards at people...well, doing exactly what I do in most bookshops.

    Then there's the obvious Basil Fawlty angle, in the case of this shop. The new owners might get customers arriving now who are a little disappointed at the welcome.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    there is a wonderful dairy in hawes that produces wensleydale cheeses. (the wensleydale creamery)


    http://www.wensleydale.co.uk/

    one can wander round the shop there and gorge oneself on samples of their cheeses.

    the wensleydale pantry on the main street in the town serves delicious comfort food in huge portions in an old fashioned tea room setting.
    Books and wensleydale.

    Hmm...pinned on google maps.

    At its best it really is the best combination of 'creamy' and...is it 'umami'?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    My wife and have entertained the idea of owning a bookshop for years,
    Do not do it! It is akin to opening a wine bar. The assault on intellect is well underway.

    The right wants us all dragging our knuckles and slobbering,

  8. #8
    Bretzel stroller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile
    one can wander round the shop there and gorge oneself on samples of their cheeses.
    How much is the entry fee?

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    ^^

    Ok then.

    How about cheese?

    Actually yeah, fuck books.

    You can burn cheese and its still good.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    Actually yeah, fuck books.
    Us smart people read them and we love the smell of them.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chittychangchang View Post
    No doubt he'll just sell on line like most other book dealers without the overheads of a shop and business rates.
    Such is the romantic and fading notion of the real and physical bookshop.
    The sense, the smells, the ability to fondle hidden editions, the interaction and exchange with others, etc.

    Yet, there is hope among the highly impersonal, stoic, and brusque electronic-quick-as-a-flash-without-connections-encased-in-plastic age. There are suggestions that hint of expanding fissures in our interactive armour - as bookshops, of every thematic and locale, are making a healthy courageous comeback.

    Praise the local bookseller, be they demon; saint; or martyr.
    Literary ascetics will continue to rule the day.



  12. #12
    On a walkabout
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    A good friend of mine, an English lad, opened up Star Books in Pattaya and worked at it tirelessly to make it work but even in spite of his innovations the venture failed. Buy back offers and exchanges did not seem to work.

    The ability to download stuff off the internet has made these businesses almost redundant which is a shame as I love to walk into what is virtually a library and just sift through all the books on offer.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat raycarey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    I love to walk into what is virtually a library and just sift through all the books on offer.
    and to think the guy went out of business.

  14. #14
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    One thing we can count on is that slick will never read this thread.

  15. #15
    On a walkabout
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey
    and to think the guy went out of business.
    Yes dopeshit he did and it was a shame.

    He had some great hardcover and softcover books in there that relate to the history of literature.

    Oh fuck it with this filfthy troll. Go back to my pie thread wanker.

  16. #16
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub
    Us smart people read them and we love the smell of them.
    On the west coast of Scotland I once bought a Grahame Greene novel mostly because of its smell.

    'The Pongy and the Gloriously Evocative', if I remember correctly.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    Steve Bloom,who admits he is a man who “doesn’t butter his parsnips” when dealing with members of the public.
    Seems like the polite thing to do.

  18. #18
    On a walkabout
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille
    My reasons for going into CM City are decreasing by the month.
    Obviously had your motorcycle repossessed.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Keep it on your shithouse threads will you shorty.

  20. #20
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thaimeme
    The sense, the smells, the ability to fondle hidden editions, the interaction and exchange with others
    erm , even wank mags are digital now

    fcuk dead tree books - I am sure there were spank waniels lamenting over the change from handwritten books to the printing press

    I read books - before they were the things that weighed and that weight added up - every time I moved I would sell them back to second hand bookshops - even here in thai , I would take the number 2 bus to morsh1t and rummage through the paperbacks at the second hand booksellers in chuktukjuk

    that changed in 2004 when I bought a pda and realised I could read books on it

    now I do not have to add multiple kilos of paper to my luggage

    ebooks - not for poseurs , but for those that consume the written word

  21. #21
    Thailand Expat cyrille's Avatar
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    Fair enough.

    Many people appreciate both formats...as the sales figures show.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Fair enough.

    Many people appreciate both formats...as the sales figures show.

    As the latter will die an edeath.
    Nothing behind the ecurtain.

  23. #23
    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    you cannae burn the ebook - they will live forever

  24. #24
    Cabbaged Member Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    The days are numbered for the physical book.
    However, rare and antique books are rising in value.
    Ano associate of mine puts many hours into running an independent bookshop, he has author signing days and gets local schools involved with world book days.
    The shop has a cafe inside and if it weren't for the cafe takings the bookshop side of the business would have gone under years ago.
    E books may be convenient and cheaper but something is missing and sterile about this new era in literature and reading.

  25. #25
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    I much prefer reading a paper book than a digital book.

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