Bookshop owner 'charges' 50p entry fee

Bookshop owner 'charges' 50p entry fee

A secondhand bookshop owner in North Yorkshire who charges customers 50p for entry has received complaints about rudeness after calling a customer a “pain in the arse”, according to a Press Association report.

The owner of secondhand bookshop Bloomindales, Steve Bloom, has been branded “the bookseller from hell” by the chairman of Hawes parish council John Blackie. Blackie said the “rude and offensive” bookseller was a discredit to the town, adding: “He is doing a disservice to the other traders, to the reputation of the town, which is very much a friendly town. We welcome people to come and visit us.”

Bloom has received more than 20 complaints from customers and poor reviews on a Yell website.

However, since the press report surfaced Bloom has gathered some support online. On the Yell website one reader wrote: “What a wonderful man Mr Bloom sounds. Among the 50 shades of grey of most other retailers (of books and other things) a truly colourful character. A real life Fawlty. Surely worth a visit just for the experience. Unfortunately I can't visit him myself as I live in New Zealand, but I'm British and commend him for his honesty.”

Another said: “Having read about this bookshop and owner in the Guardian today I cannot wait to browse around his shop, purchase books and meet the man himself. No such thing as bad publicity!"

Bloom said he regretted calling the customer a "pain in the arse" and explained that he asked visitors for 50p to see if they were serious about buying books. He claimed he doesn’t actually take the fee from them.