London - If you are a book lover who sometimes despairs that the art of reading is being lost, then here’s something to restore your faith.

The proprietors of a small, independent bookshop have gained a devoted online following of nearly 4 000 fans by tweeting about their encounters with customers.

Last week, for example, the Twitter account for West End Lane Books in North London (@WELbooks) wrote about a customer who had wandered around the shop, apparently in a daze. When asked if she would like any help, the browser vaguely replied: “I’m fine. I often come in here just to daydream.”

A few days before that, with the sun shining, the cashier asked if a gentleman bookworm needed a bag. His answer: “Nope. I’m going to find a tree to sit under and read it right now.”

Then there was the customer who took an age to chose two novels and finally came to the counter and said: “Complete bliss. Browsing in silence. Lost art.”

But it’s the children’s responses that are most heart-warming. One little girl was overheard talking to herself as she looked at a shelf of picture books: “I think you’d really like this book .?.?. and I don’t think you want this one.”

And three cheers for the small child who asked his mother, as she was paying for a book: “Can I read it as soon as we get home?”

This Twittering bookshop is a source of delight for anyone who loves books. - Daily Mail