Monday 8 February 2010


Yes, Hassocks! I went to Hassocks! on Sunday, for the rather grand-sounding Mid-Sussex Book Fair, so named, I imagine, because it's in West Sussex, but also quite near East Sussex, and someone evidently thought calling it the Hassocks! Book Fair didn't quite do it justice (although the addition of an exclamation mark, like the one I inserted, would've helped there, I feel). It was a smallish, quaint-ish affair, maybe twenty dealers in all, and I picked up a cheap copy of this:

A first edition of John Le Carre's Smiley's People from 1980. Been meaning to read one of Le Carre's novels at some point, and Smiley's People seems as good a choice as any. Elsewhere at the fair the goods on offer were the usual mix of local interest books, motoring, military, and a few novels, but curiously the Scientologists obviously thought Hassocks! would be a fertile recruiting ground, as they had a table there flogging copies of Dianetics and handing out personality tests. It's the first time I've seen those sinister chancers at a book fair; why did they plump for Hassocks! and not, say, Lewes, or Tunbridge Wells? Curious.

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