Monday, 13 January 2014

travelling in books

 It's time to go out visiting bookshops again, now that Christmas and New Year are safely past, and the miniature copies of A Child's Christmas in Wales have disappeared from the front of the shelves, and we look forward to spring.

Immediately after Inking Bitterns came off the press at the beginning of December, I did a quick rush around our local shops. Responses were variable. Some people absolutely loved the book, and gladly took copies. Chief among them was Kathryn Atkins at the Durdham Down Bookshop, who is an enthusiastic promoter of literature and poetry, both in the shop and in Henleaze Library, where she helps to run events. She managed to sell thirty copies of Inking Bitterns in December. Thirty! Gentle reader, that is pretty good going, I can tell you....

We also enjoyed our trips to Devizes and Calne, whose independent bookshops are such nice places to go to, which is presumably why they are still in business. And last week I went over to Thornbury, another nice shop with a good local section, which I like to see.

 You can see the map of stockists here.

Less welcoming was the fairly large independent bookshop in a South Wales county town whose manager looked rather wearily at the book and dismissed it as a 'local book', doomed to vanish without trace. Or the Bath indie shop where, I was told, they only get their books from a central distributor. The folk at Bath's other bookshop, Toppings, were charm itself, and plied me with tea; but they explained that their poetry section is already humungous (they collaborate with Bath Spa Uni's poetry department, apparently) , and my slim volume would vanish without trace into it; so, unless people came in demanding it...

Prize for most unusual stockist goes to NB Electra, afloat on the Grand Union Canal and somewhere near Tring just at the moment (her position is tagged on the map). Suzanne, Electra's skipper, kindly took a bunch of books with her, as we figured that they would appeal to canal folk. So, if you should be on the towpath (or indeed chugging along the cut) and see her, do say hello!

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