Watch this BBC's four-minute video clip [by clicking on the picture below or on this link], part of the series Stop/Start, which follows both new trends that are beginning and old traditions that are coming to an end in the UK.
The activity is suitable for intermediate students.
2 What are their two hobbies?
3 What are some of the problems living in a remote area has?
4 What is the busiest time of the year in the shop?
5 How do they keep themselves busy in winter?
6 What three activities does Kevin mention, which proves his point that 'in remote areas like this it’s good to have more than one iron in the fire'?
7 Why are they called 'book detectives'?
8 What does '50' refer to, and 'Harry Potter'?
9 Why have they decided to sell their business?
To check your answers you can read the transcript below.
Ever since I learnt to read I’ve just always had books. My partner Simon and I had run the business for fourteen years. When we bought the premises it wasn’t a bookshop and restaurant, it was a shop room by a potter. We decided to combine our two hobbies, so Simon has always loved cooking, and I’ve always loved books.
Some people were shocked to the idea of us living in a remote area like this. The remoteness can present some problems in terms of getting supplies, in terms of the fact that the nearest hospital is a hundred miles away, but it’s a beautiful part of the world, it’s a friendly part of the world, and we both are happy living here.
Through here is the children’s section. Here we have the history books. These are all the second-hand fiction. The busiest time of the year is the late-spring summer and early autumn and because we’re very much tourist-based in the shop. In the winter it can get very quiet in the shop but we do quite a substantial trade on the internet.
Particularly in remote areas like this it’s good to have more than one iron in the fire, so we sell books, new and second-hand, online and in the shop. We also have a restaurant, and we sell the work of local artists in our art gallery.
We’ve had quite a few famous people at the shop, including Carol Duffy, who is now a poet laureate, and including Ian Rankin.
One journalist created the phrase ‘book detective’ about us because we do do book searches of people for out-of-print books that they might be looking for. Sometimes we are requested for a book where the person hasn’t got the full information. They may know the author, they may know the title, they may just know what the book is about, so then I have to do some research to try and locate where exactly the book is, and I can search on various different bibliophile sites.
We’ve had lots of interesting online orders. I did send 50 bibles once to South Korea. There’s also a professor of sociology in Beijing who ordered everything out on the shelves about Scottish witchcraft. We had someone who collected Harry Porter in as many languages as possible and it was looking for a copy of Harry Porter written in Arabic.
We decided to move on with the business and put the business on the market. Basically Simon is now in his 70’s, I’ve had some health issues. In the future we will be retired from business. On our page our life will slow down and we’ll just have more time to enjoy each other’s company.