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Losing Love (Bookshop Memories)

Ryan Borg Mr.Parsons English 101 9/13/2012 Losing Love In the short essay Bookshop Memories by George Orwell, he tells the readers about the life of working at a second hand bookstore.Orwell goes into brief detail about certain remarks, actions or pestering bluebottles that seem to rest and die in the most important and obvious places.

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Some of the remarks that Orwell made throughout the essay would be like this example, “many of the people who came to us were of the kind who would be a nuisance anywhere but have special opportunities in a bookshop.

For example, the dear old lady who ‘wants a book for an invalid’ (a very common demand, that). ”(Page 1) Follow that quote the other nuisance is the random special ordered book Orwell encountered was, “the other dear old lady who read such a nice book in 1897 and wonders whether you can find her a copy. Unfortunately she doesn’t remember the title or the author’s name or what the book was about, but she does remember that it had a red cover. (Page 1) These encounters aggravated Orwell with no doubt but the real reason he lost his love for books was, “a bookseller has to tell lies about books, and that gives him a distaste for them; still worse is the fact that he is constantly dusting them and hauling them to and fro. ”(page 5) As one book lover to another the fact that Orwell had to lie about certain books to customers would be near impossible just because it’s not how Orwell wanted to explain the book but it was what the customers wanted to hear about the book to make the sale.

Satisfying the customer rather than being able to speak what you actually are thinking about the book I could see this would cause Orwell to lose his love for the actual books that he enjoys reading. The other reason that Orwell states in that quote is that he has to constantly dusting them off and moving them to and fro. Analyzing this quote it is noticeable that Orwell was referring to constantly moving the books around for customers, the change of seasons, and new inventory that the bookstore got in. Along with shuttling them back and forth, us; as a reader, should take in consideration that the books need to be cleaned off nd this is where the dead bluebottles and dust start to affect his real love for books. After Orwell states the real reason he loses his love for books he does include another quote which is, “nowadays I do buy one occasionally, but only if it is a book that I want to read and can’t borrow, and I never buy junk. The sweet smell of decaying paper appeals to me no longer. ” (page 5) To me, as the reader, I take this sentence that Orwell does not like to read books that are 50 years old or older because it brings back the memories of shuttling and dusting off the dead bluebottles from the books.

It also suggests that he still will read a quality book, news article, or other type of publication but he will not purchase it since there were so many customers that went into the second hand bookstore to buy books so they could use them as a showing piece for people to make assumptions of who they actually were. In this essay this Orwell gave complex hints to the reasons why he lost his love for books in ways throughout the whole essay but he gave his real reason in the last paragraph of the essay as it was pointed out previously.

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