Perhaps the best thing we can say about 2016 is that it is nearly over. We look back in anguish. ...
We couldn't help but smile this week reading about the bookshop owner who has been charging customers 50p to enter his store, while also reportedly calling one 'a pain in the arse'.
While technically he hasn't actually been taking people's money (never let the truth get in the way of a good story), it's a Scrooge-like stance that captured a lot of people's attention, with widespread coverage in the national media.
What's interesting is how, despite some grumpy local councillors in the town the store trades in, the vast majority of the public seem to have sided with the proprietor, Steve Bloom, who maintains the 'charge' was/is simply to shoo away time wasters not interested in buying a book.
Now, obviously we're very partial to a bit of Scrooge-like behaviour here at Wordsworth Editions, and when you take into consideration that the retailer in question (the punningly-named Bloomindales in Hawes, North Yorkshire) is actually a secondhand book shop, well, he has our sympathy.
Secondhand book shops – in which you can find an awful lot of Wordsworth titles – have been decimated over the last 10 years, mostly at the hands of the internet and sky-high rates. Like independent record shops, they are a disappearing part of this country's High Street landscape, and that's very sad indeed.
And here's the thing – the proprietor's perceived grumpiness and the media coverage it has generated will almost certainly boost his business in the short term, and for that alone we applaud his 'miserable' stance.
The 'bookseller from hell'? Not a bit of it – Bloom should have been awarded a new year honour for services to the book trade.
And A Christmas Carol is available now via Wordsworth Editions, so buy a copy or bugger off (in for a penny, in for, um, 50p)...
Picture Credit: Credit: RICHARD DOUGHTY / NNPSteve Bloom - Credit: RICHARD DOUGHTY / NNP