For over five days now, there has been a no fly zone over the UK due to ash from the Icelandic volcano eruption, with travel chaos ensuing as people stranded in far ports have tried to return home - or in fact to leave the UK. One of the overriding images I've noticed is deserted airports - often with a shot of a WHSmith travel shop in the background. It has got me thinking: has the no fly rule affected book sales or has it in fact helped? I can only wait and see.
I don't suppose that the bookshops in the airports (the ones that are empty) have done much trade, but what about the ones where people have been forced to spend many hours - have the people there been buying more books in order to kill some of the waiting time? Ferry terminals and train stations have been inundated, so have sales gone up there as well. Do people actually read when they're stranded in a strange place or do they just go into shut down as they watch the next 'CANCELLED' sign flicker up on the notice boards?
Me, I don't know. But it would be interesting to find out.