Thursday, January 07, 2016

A New Year’s resolution worth keeping: support bookshops instead of Amazon


30 December 2015 - The Spectator

Every day in the run up to Christmas, sometimes several times a day, the front doorbell rang with a parcel for one of my five sets of neighbours. Each time, I ran down six flights of stairs to scribble a hieroglyph for the man from the Royal Mail.

It has not been a season of ding-dongs-merrily-on-high, but of the ping of text messages – ‘A delivery coming today. Could you bear to…?’ – and the insistent buzz of the door. I regret revealing at the last residents’ meeting that I worked from home.

None of the parcels were for me. This time last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to give up my appalling Amazon habit. What with one-click ordering it had become fantasy shopping, clicking on Penguins as if they were penny sweets. I was spending hundreds of unthinking pounds – and never visiting the bookshops I claimed to cherish.

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