PageRipper 1: Readers & Bookshops
As Annie hasn’t yet taken up her guest blogspot, I thought I’d do a new occasional list of thoughts here.
1. First, Fiona writes; ‘I thought I’d mention that you are quite good looking. I shall have to find time to drop everything else and read your books.’ This strikes me as one of the most illogical pieces of ladyscience I have yet come across. Using that reasoning you’d never buy a book by Jeremy Clarkson, would you? (And frankly, as most of his humour stems from his grandiose sense of pomposity and privilege, I wouldn’t touch his books with mint surgical tweezers).
2. A friend of mine was talking to a lady at Harrogate who said she had just finished reading all three of EL James’ early 21st century masterpiece ‘Fifty Degrades of Fey’, and that she loved them. My friend asked what other books she read, to which the lady in question admitted that these were the very first she’d ever opened.
‘What are you going to read next?’ asked my friend, rather astutely I thought. To which she got the reply;
‘Oh, I expect I’ll just read these again.’
3. Speaking of That Trilogy (or ‘Trilology’, as I heard one marketing chimp refer to it), EL James’ books occupy four places in the Waterstone’s top ten. But wait, has she already hammered out another volume? No, fourth place goes to the boxed set, which apparently counts as a separate seller. Tell the aliens not to bother visiting, there’s no more life left here on Earth.
4. Hallelujah – a new independent bookshop has opened in King’s Cross station. It’s called Watermark and is right at the back of the concourse, near The Parcel Yard pub (which is also surprisingly good). Instead of stocking items according to special offers, they choose books they like wisely and appealingly. A worthy new contender to join Clerkenwell Tales and The Big Green Bookshop as a favourite place to go. (For surprisingly good bookshops, check out the circular Kinokuniya bookstore at the top of the Dubai Mall if you’re ever in the Middle East – it’s extraordinarily well-stocked).
5. Hurrah – for Foyles, as they prepare to move their fabulous and immense bookshop further down Charing Cross Road into the old St Martin’s College of Art & Design building, making it even bigger and better. This will give them a ground floor events space that people can find without the use of an AA map and a spirit level. I’ll be doing a reading there in September.