Claire Tomalin, Thomas Hardy
(New York: The Penguin Press, 2007), p. 40, with note on p. 395:
He was a haunter of bookshops, and was remembered for it by the son of a Dorchester bookseller, who used to watch Tom at the shop's counter, reading his way through one volume after another. The boy welcomed Hardy, because he brought him some particularly good eating apples, the Bockhampton Sweets from his parents' garden, and the bookseller was too good-natured to complain, knowing that a reader will one day turn into a buyer.34
34. This is from Florence Hardy's letter of 3 Apr. 1937 to Morris Parish about Joshua J. Foster, a few years younger than Hardy, son of the Dorchester bookseller James Foster, listed in the 1861 Census as bookseller and printer. Florence reported that 'JJF told me this himself, and he was the only person I ever spoke to who remembered T.H. at that early age.' Letters of E & F Hardy, 346.