The Last Bookshop (2012) Movie Script

[Shopkeeper: NARRATING]
There have always been stories.
Ever since the earliest days.
I suppose
in the beginning,
rather than holographic
colour and noise,
stories were more like
dreams spoken aloud.
They were bison
on cave walls and
campfire myths
of how the world was born.
Those verbal stories:
that's where it must
all have begun.
They were magic!
They were alive!
But being alive,
they also had to die.
They vanished
with the breath of the storyteller.
To be reincarnated.
Evolving, mutating
with each re-telling.
Until eventually,
the original stories
were lost forever.
[Door: Bell]
[Door: Bell]
You're here at last!
It's alright.
Don't be frightened.
Is this
what you were after?
Go on!
Isn't it wonderful?
I started to worry
that you'd never come.
Every morning
I open the shop full of hope,
but in vain.
At closing time, I bring
all the books in from the empty street.
Take down the awning.
Telling myself:
maybe tomorrow.
tomorrow he'll arrive.
Yes. You, sir.
You are my first customer
in 25 years,
2 months
and 6 days.
That's what I've been
waiting for.
[Shopkeeper: HUMMING]
What's a customer?
It's like when you
buy things on a computer.
Only better!
You get to come here.
See the books.
Touch them, and smell them.
[Boy: SNIFFS and
Old books. Nothing like it!
E Nesbit seems to have
the best bouquet, I think.
Though I found some
heady Bronts the other day,
in a box with
some old pipe tobacco.
You should catch
a whiff of it. [GRINS]
It'll knock your socks off!
Is this a story?
Oh yes, yes.
Well what else does it do?
Do? Do?
It's a book!
It paints pictures
in your head!
It gives you memories of things
you will never experience.
Look, the only way
you will ever find out,
is to explore for yourself.
Be my guest.
You can read
whatever you like!
Would you like that?
[Shopkeeper: NARRATING]
After much archaeology of my shelves,
he went home
with Kenneth Graham,
Richmal Crompton,
a Beano annual,
and a whole host
of treasures besides.
I almost
envied him,
discovering them
for the first time.
After 25 years
of waiting,
my books had a new reader
at last.
[Boy:] In the old days,
did everyone used to read books?
[Shopkeeper:] As a lad
we all queued up at midnight,
for a book
about a wizard.
It was the vogue.
[Shopkeeper: NARRATING]
I imagined him poring over every page.
Engrossed in the characters
and the illustrations.
Falling in love
with books.
Just as I had done
at his age.
I suppose
it was naive,
to have expected him
to come back
the very next day.
He'd never read
a single book before.
Let alone
a whole pile.
But as the days
turned into weeks,
I started to wonder
if I had simply dreamt him.
Was the boy
a phantom?
my fall into madness?
Would I soon
have a shop
with fictional customers!?
[Clock: CHIMES]
If I were to die,
what would happen
to my books?
Would I be found
rotting among them?
Or would
no-one come?
Would the walls
and the roof
cave in on me,
until the rain
dissolved each volume,
and my bones
in a sea
of papier-mch?
The meaning
washed away with ink.
The books growing back
into a forest.
The boy wasn't
coming back was he?
I was saving
the books for no-one.
Can I read some more
books please?
To dear Stuart,
with best wishes,
from Mother and Father.
What happened to them?
Where's Stuart now?
They're long gone.
That book was unwrapped
on a Christmas morning,
long before even
my grandfather was born.
The world
was a different place then.
How did it end up here?
[Shopkeeper:] My books
are not second hand at all.
They are fifth or sixth hand,
you know.
In the old days,
when someone died,
I might be donated
a whole cardboard box full.
That was when everyone
had books in their house.
Nowadays the attics and
alcoves of England are bare.
Even the elderly don't seem
to leave books behind any more.
[Boy:] What happened
to the other bookshops?
There aren't any.
Oh, there used to be
a whole network of us.
But they all
went out of business.
Or passed away.
Now it's just me.
And as for the books,
this is the lot!
For a time, I was able to raid
skips and wheelie bins for new stock.
But, ah,
that all dried up.
[Boy:] Oh!
What's this?
[Shopkeeper:] I think you've found
an old banknote.
I promise to pay the bearer,
on demand,
the sum of
Five Pounds.
[Shopkeeper:] Ha, yeh,
it's a funny thing,
but banknotes
weren't real money.
They were sort of,
promissory notes,
from the King.
And before that,
the Queen.
Though I don't think
she ever coughed up.
What's "money"?
[Shopkeeper:] When you
wanted to buy a book,
or anything else
for that matter,
rather than tapping numbers
into a computer,
you gave the shopkeeper
some of these.
As a swap?
Yes, if you like.
[Boy:] Couldn't you read
any of the books for free?
[Shopkeeper:] You could borrow books,
from a place called a library.
That was before
they were all shut down.
You know,
for a while,
there were
electronic books.
You could buy
or rent any text.
Remarkable things.
They were all the rage for years.
I had one.
plastic tablet
and a touch screen.
Looked like the real thing.
E- ink
I think they called it.
Died out of course.
What's the use of a pretend book
if nobody knows what a real one is?
Might as well have
a pretend mangle.
What's a mangle?
I think
I may have some
old American money
let me think...
[Boy:] What did the shopkeepers do
with the money they were given?
[Shopkeeper:] Oh,
they put it in the till,
and swapped it in return
for gas and electricity...
I must see if I can find
those dollars for you to see.
[Cash register: BELL]
[Computer: VOICE] GamaZone
thanks you for your purchase!
What happened!?
[Boy:] I was paying
for the books I took,
like in the old days.
No, no, no!
As long as money
didn't change hands,
they turned
a blind eye to me.
I knew I should have thrown
that old thing out years ago!
Have I done something wrong?
I'm sorry!
[Shopkeeper:] You have to leave.
Come on.
You need to go home
and forget all about this.
[Shopkeeper:] Every line,
every word, written in this shop,
is copyright
of the GamaZone Corporation!
They seized the rights
to everything years ago!
There was no opting out.
This whole shop is a massive
copyright infringement!
I'm not allowed
to sell any of it.
I don't understand!
You be a good boy and go home.
I've got to shut up
the shop for the night.
[Door: BELL]
[Shopkeeper: NARRATING]
There have always been stories...
and there
always will be...
[Shopkeeper: NARRATING]
This was the story I wanted to tell,
but there are no books left
in which to tell it.
The End