My eye was caught by the excited smirks of these little ladies carting their new piles of reading matter through the streets of wartime Paris while I was browsing the bookshop of London’s Southbank Centre.
And they’re a familiar bunch, this lot: little miss middle is sporting a grin uncannily like the one slapped across my face whenever I strike it lucky in the fabulous Oxfam Bookshop; the black-clad, patent-toed sweetie on the right might well have chuckled in that very same, mildly sheepish mirth had she been the one *ahem*, 60 years later, to buy birthday books for friends that she knew full well would never see the world beyond her own bookshelf; and the munchkin second from left bears that common countenance of the reader who’s just suffered that sudden downpour so beloved of British summertime, without the aid of either brolly or carrier bag. Hmph. Hopefully she’ll remember to pick up a Metro tomorrow.
Photo: Anonymous. Copyright Hulton Deutsch Collection/Corbis