It's good news this week if you like shopping, even if the high street is likely to feel quite different. As we learn the new ways of carrying out our simple tasks, I wonder if there are elements we might embrace for the better?
Standing alongside each other in a queue, 2m apart, brings an opportunity to exchange a word or a smile with our neighbour, and to appreciate the architecture, the plants, and the birdsong in our local environment. As we're unable to rush, perhaps we can take stock and enjoy being in the moment.
Of course, if you're queuing to go into a bookshop, it's understandable if you're struggling to rein in the excitement and anticipation as you wait to collect or choose a new title!
Reviews and recommendations have been particularly useful over these past few months, when we haven't been able to browse bookshelves for ourselves.
Thank you to everyone who has replied to my weekly recommended titles. I'm working my way through the lists I've been given in return!
I've also found that the many online author talks and festivals have been hugely stimulating - I've discovered new writers and dipped into subjects that I might not have considered, had I attended the events in the flesh. Do remember to support your local high street by buying the promoted titles from your local bookshops - they all offer post or delivery services as well as opening their doors this week.
Looking forward, on Thursday 25 June, at 7pm, the first online event at Aldeburgh's Jubilee Hall will be a conversation between writer Meg Rosoff and broadcaster Nina Nannah. They will be talking about Meg's new book for a young adult readership, called 'The Great Godden'. Advance copies can be purchased from Aldeburgh Bookshop or reserved from Browsers in Woodbridge, Dial Lane in Ipswich, or any high street bookshop. This is a free event, but donations are invited to support ongoing events at Jubilee Hall.
Later this month, Felixstowe Book Festival will have elements of its 2020 programme live online on 27-28 June. Novelist Carol Drinkwater will be among the speakers and you can see my interview with Carol in this month's 'Suffolk' magazine here.
I won't be at Browsers for a couple more weeks, but you can find out details of the procedures now in place by signing up to the shop newsletter here.