Yorkshire "Shopkeeper from Hell" brought to book?

A shop owner in the Yorkshire Dales has been dubbed Britain's rudest bookseller after charging customers 50p to enter his store.

Customers are charged 50p to enter Bloomingdales bookshop in Hawes Credit: Richard Doughty/NNP

Steve Bloom who runs Bloomingdales in Hawes, has been the centre of 20 complaints to the local parish council from customers describing him as "rude" and "miserable" because of the entrance fee.

Mr Bloom who describes himself as "not really a people person", said the council had given the issue more importance than it deserved. He claims the 50p policy is a way of finding out whether customers are serious or not and doesn't actually take the money.

The chairman of Hawes Parish Council, John Blackie, said the 63 year old was a discredit to the town:

"I'm afraid we have the bookseller from hell. He seems to have a strategy unlike anybody else's. He charges 50p, people object and he is very rude to them. He is doing a disservice to the other traders and to the reputation of the town which is very much a friendly town."

– John Blackie, Hawes Parish Council
Some customers defended the 50p fee to enter Bloomingdales book shop Credit: Richard Doughty/NNP

However, some customers said they were happy to pay the fee to browse the shelves. One female visitor posted a message online to say:

"To me browsing in a wonderful bookshop filled with fascinating books, maps, postcards & other ephemera is worth 50p any day. Book stores & libraries are closing at an alarming rate. So time well spent, lovely books acquired, interesting chat with the owner and I got my 50p back. What's not to like?"

– Bloomingdales customer