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Old 01-20-2020, 05:23 PM   #63
Bookpossum
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Quite early in the book, at the party, there is the statement that "Mrs Violet Gamart, the natural patroness of all public activities in Hardborough, came towards them". Clearly, this included the arts because she was wanting Old House to be turned into an Arts Centre.

I would certainly see that a bookshop was related to the arts, given that literature is one of the arts. A definition from Wikipedia, which seems as good as any:

Quote:
The arts refers to the theory and physical expression of creativity found in human cultures and societies. Major constituents of the arts include visual arts, literature, and performing arts. Some art forms combine a visual element with performance, or artwork with the written word
Florence's stock is a mixture of different sorts of books, as indeed any bookshop needs to be in order to attract a variety of customers. But it certainly included literature.

This brings me to something else. Several people have stated that Florence doesn't love books, and I'm not sure why, except that the text doesn't specifically state that she loved books. She arranged her stock with discrimination, and while she didn't really care for the paperbacks, they were arranged in "well-disciplined ranks".

At the beginning of chapter 4, on the day of opening the bookshop, Raven called in and was critical of the job the scouts had made of the shelves they put up. Florence "would have no fault found. Besides, now that the books were in place, well to the front (she couldn't bear them to slide back as though defeated), any irregularities could scarcely be noticed."

That sounds to me like someone who loves books, to care about how they look on the shelves.

At the end, she kept two of the Everyman editions after selling the rest of her stock, one by Ruskin and one by Bunyan, each with its old bookmarker. She rescued those books because they wouldn't have sold and would probably only been thrown out. Isn't that love?
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