Since my adolescence Foyles, this venerable bookstore in Charing Cross Road, has exerted a magic power over me. I could hardly pass by without being draged into its messy maze of rooms filled with books, books and more books. Time would invariably stop each time I entered and I never left empty-handed. Things are different now. It has been modernised and some of the old charm, together with the grumpy old lady in the science section, is gone. It is a far cry from the world of the firm’s legendary owner, the late Christina Foyle, who used to run the bookstore almost as a chaotic and eccentric extension of herself. Perhaps it is good she did not live long enough to learn that in Britain digital books are expected to outsell print titles by 2015.