There is a Costa coffee upstairs in my local Waterstones, I'm fond of it for many reasons; it's where the Scottish one and I had our first date (he invited me for tea and buns which sounded entirely innocent and then swept me off my feet), it's dependably quiet when everywhere else in town is busy - possibly because there's no lift, it's only a ten minute walk from my flat, and of course there are books so it's an obvious place for Sunday hot chocolates and my hot tip for a peaceful bolt hole if you ever find yourself in Leicester.
Despite being flat broke I found myself in there yesterday having a coffee and a nice browse round with a friend when I came across this... Attracted by the name (E.F. Benson, not Night Terrors) I went to have a closer look, could this possibly be the same E.F. Benson of Mapp and Lucia? Well yes it could. I had no idea that he wrote ghost stories but it seems he did, there are over 50 of them here with terrifying titles like 'The Horror Horn', 'Spinach', 'The Bath Chair' and 'The Physical Mallards' (okay some of them are more terrifying than that but they don't amuse me as much).
This is a Wordsworth classic so it's only £2.99 which is remarkably cheap for any book, never mind one that's more than 700 pages, it has a couple of really enthusiastic reviews on amazon, and I couldn't go home without it. The cover is frankly awful but if that's the trade off for cheap I'm happy to take it.
This is exactly the kind of find that makes me love bookshops - and you really have to be in a shop to have that moment of serendipity. My new treasure might turn out to be a bit rubbish, though I doubt that it will - and either way it'll be interesting to read Benson in this form, but nothing will take away that happy moment of discovery.