I was just checking the cards in my wallet tonight. Among all the useful and essential stuff I had there, I (re)discovered my Waterstone's loyalty card and my Chapters loyalty card, which I bought in Ottawa. I receive plenty of promotional emails from them, I barely notice them anymore. My name is mispelled on the Waterstone's card. That was to be expected, I guess. I once bought something from them and the woman at the till had said that Guillaume was the name of his son. She had married a French man. Every time I take my card out to pay something, I think about this anecdote: I actually have met a British woman whose son shared my name, she married a French man and she works, or worked, at Waterstone's.
That said, I go less and less to a bookstore. So I don't use my loyalty cards. I got the Chapters one not because I go there often, heck I hardly ever went there when I was living in Montreal (except once or twice, including once to hand in my c.v. when I was struggling to find a job), but because it reminds me of home. Even though I got it in Ottawa, of all places. Which is as far from home as it can be, whatever place you call home. All the same, I looked at these cards and I thought it was very sad: I haven't been in a bookshop in a long while. Sure, there is the Oxfam charity, second hand bookshop and the WH Smith's glorified stationary shop. But I meant a real, proper bookshop. I have loyalty cards, but I haven't felt like a loyal customer in a long while.
A Murder of Crows, An Unkindness of Ravens
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