posted by Barter Books @ 1:27pm, Friday 10 August 2012.
Either sometime soon or never ever (the dread cutting room) some Americans just may turn on NBC TV and see Stuart and me. You won't know us for beans but you will know our interviewer, Lester Holt.
Every American alive knows Lester Holt except me and that's only because I'm an expat. And even I know him now. He's tall and dark and handsome and, I swear to you, as nice as he seems. And that's true whatever happens in the cutting room unless they cut me out entirely in which case I might have to think twice about Lester.
But let's say it all happens. You turn on the TV and there's the film. And to be fair, you might well ask yourself, what's going on? Why is Lester Holt way up there in Alnwick (Alnwick?) interviewing whoever they are (who are they?) in this big secondhand bookstore? (Yes, bookstore! They still exist, honest. Even - wait for it! - thrive. More later.)
And why, when Lester throws out his very first question to the bearded figure (that's my husband, Stuart) in this perfect golden TV voice - "Tell me, Stuart, when did you start Barter Books?" - does the woman with the choppy hair suddenly go slightly green?
And why, when Lester turns to the woman with the choppy hair (that's me) and asks (voice gold like honey) - "Tell me, Mary, where did you find the poster?" - does the bearded man's upper lip suddenly go slightly stiff?
Look, I can't tell you right now; because the film hasn't aired yet, and I'm not supposed to give anything away except that Lester, being Lester, sussed all the answers out perfectly in no time flat - textbook example of investigative reporting, oh yes. (By the way, I love that: "aired". That's what the producer called it. Divine.)
Well, I can only hope that you stay with Lester and Stuart and me long enough to find out, because it really is a rather nice story - the bookshop, the poster, yea, even Stuart and me..
Anyway, I think so.
And I think Lester Holt thought so, too, because, after all, he and the NBC crew (pause for small cheer) didn’t come all the way up to Alnwick way up in the tippy top of England just to learn how to pronounce it. (Go on, take a guess. Ready? It’s ‘Ann-nick’. No ‘l’. No ‘w’. Any prizes?)
Anyway, I hope you'll like the story, too.
And, believe me, there’s a lot more of it.