If you've ever been to Harrod's in London, you're not likely to forget it (love those Food Halls). Penny Vincenzi remembers it fondly.
From The Independent UK, here's Vincenzi's story. She is the acclaimed author of 14 novels and chair of the new £10,000 Desmond Elliott (first novel) Prize, but her very first job was to hand out other people's books in the Harrod's store in Knightsbridge.
"There were far more private lending libraries then," she explains. "Boots had one. At Harrods, you got a book straight away; you just rang up and ordered it and it was delivered that afternoon, sometimes by horse-drawn van." As a humble member of staff, young Penny did not enter the main Harrods building like the smart customers but used another, over the road, connected to it by a tunnel.
She would slip into a green wrap-around garment, "a horrible green, so unflattering, like joke cleaning-ladies' overalls". Emerging from the subterranean route, she would go to her appointed desk in the library on the fourth floor. There were 12 desks, each with one senior and two junior librarians who dealt with customers in person or over the phone."