I'd forgotten what it was like to have a stream of customers coming through the door all wanting the same book, but that buzz is very special.
First, you sense the anxiety as they enter the shop, not knowing if there's a copy left, or whether the person in front of them in the queue will take the last one. Then their expression and mood lifts with the relief, pleasure and excitement of knowing they've got it, they've accomplished their goal.
These customers don't usually bother to try and find the book for themselves. Perhaps they don't even know where to look. They've just heard about the latest 'big thing' and need to be part of it.
It usually happens, if we're lucky, at Christmas. Remember 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves', the punctuation classic by Lynne Truss? Today of course, it was the Man Booker winner 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes.
I confess I was rather disappointed when I heard the announcement last night. I had watched the BBC Culture Show special about the shortlist, where they had invited villagers in Scotland to vote for their winner. They had chosen 'Pigeon English' and I had been willing for that to win.
Sales in our shop started slowly, but gathered in pace during the afternoon. And, as I saw the Barnes book gradually diminish in number on the shop shelves, I thought I would have to take a copy home to read for myself, to have my own opinion on whether it was a worthy winner.
At 5pm we had just one copy left, and all our suppliers were sold out so there were none due in tomorrow. Imagine my horror, then, that a customer should come through the door, see our last copy on the counter and say 'oh, did that win? I'll have that' and then proceed to leave it with me while she browsed the shop. I wanted to hide it away from her, to say that she couldn't have it, and I half hoped that she would forget she'd put it aside when she came back to the till laden with her three other £20 hardbacks. However, while she'd been gone, I'd taken a moment to read the first few pages. And what a relief; I'm sure it's a great book, but I don't think it's what I want to read at the moment.