So someone I know well recently went to WH Smith while she was in York, and she bought a few books. One of them was Jordan Peterson’s Twelve Rules For Life, which she bought out of interest, not because she’s any prior fan of his.
You might not be surprised to hear that the left-wing-looking guy behind the counter started giving her grief for buying it.
(Actually, you might be somewhat surprised, as it’s not some edgy independent bookseller but WH Smith, which around my way at least is usually staffed by middle-aged women who look like they’d be more interested in Delia Smith than Laurie Penny).
Have you read it, my friend asked in return? No, but I don’t need to, it’s alt-right fascism, was the reply (or something along those lines). You can’t really be telling people not to read it before you’ve read it, can you? Yes I can, it’s a bad book and he’s a bad man, was the gist of what he said. (I forget the further details of what she said he said, but that’s pretty much it. It was Orange Man Bad-level stuff.)
Independent bookshops have always been full of arses like this, but now it’s spread to the high street. As if the high prices WH Smith charge weren’t enough to stop me buying there – I spent a fortune just buying some basic school stationery recently – now there’s this.
You know what, WH Smith? I think I’ll just buy from the internet in future.