I do like Dorking, and there appeared to be a freshness to the place following recent rain. Since I was last here a few months ago, the high street appears to have a few more empty shops, but it’s still a very pleasant, small town. Today’s visit by train was to donate around ten books to the Oxfam Bookshop (and to pick up another three!). Probably over three-quarters of the books I read end up here. I only keep those I flag as highly recommended, the rest are donated to Oxfam Books. A coffee and date-slice in the Two Many Cooks coffee shop rounded off a nice morning.
A stroll around Dorking brought us across this unlikely town scene. I don’t think the sheep are permanent residents though I have seen them there on previous visits.
At the Oxfam Bookshop I was refused entry as I would have exceeded the ‘maximum of 2 customers’ restriction. They are also only accepting donations on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I have more than 30 books waiting to be donated which have accumulated over the lock-down.
Not being able to browse bookshops, I’m getting my reading material by downloading e-books from the library and by re-reading books from my shelves. Once read I would normally hang on to a book only if it’s received my ‘highly recommended’ stamp of approval or, exceptionally, a ‘recommended’ one. But with the passage of time the shelves are bursting and I’ve decided that any book I re-read I will dispose of. There may be exceptions.
It’s too much hassle to try to resell books online and too little money to be gained so I take books to my local Oxfam Books. A book given to a charity can often be sold several times over since there’s a strong likelihood that books bought from a charity shop will be donated back to the same shop. This is clearly good for the charity, though less good for the author of the book. I don’t know whether that should bother me.
Half way to the station my bus came up against a dickhead of a van driver who must have decided that the bus driver had overstepped the mark by not giving way when there was only room for one vehicle to proceed. So the van driver proceeded to block the road for over 5 minutes, nonchalantly making himself appear unconcerned by doing some paperwork. Meanwhile behind him the cars queued up, as presumably they also did behind the bus. It was an easy manoeuvre for the van driver to reverse into the adjacent side street, whereas reversing the bus was not an option. There was stalemate in the street until the van driver inevitably took action and drove onto the pavement allowing the bus through. Interestingly neither the bus driver nor the van driver demonstrated in any way, not even a horn toot! Road rage without the rage.
A successful restocking of pre-loved books from the Dorking Oxfam bookshop, though I suspect that one of the books (The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes) was one I had previously donated – I have certainly read it!
A first visit to the Cake Rider Cafe was interesting and certainly deserves another visit. The owner was delightful as was the presentation of the drip coffee.
On the train to Dorking I really got into James Rhodes’ Fire On All Sides – this is going to be a great read. I took a dozen books to the Oxfam bookshop and bought three (A Gate at the Stairs – Lorrie Moore, The King is Dead – Jim Lewis, and the non-fiction The Death of Expertise – Tom Nichols). I deserved the coffee and pain au chocolat at the very pleasant Dorking Deli. Incidentally there’s an amazing bike shop just a couple of doors down.
After donating some unwanted books to Oxfam Books I found four books that looked worth buying. The Burglar Who Studied Spinoza by Lawrence Block, I chose just for its title!