PageRipper 1: Readers & Bookshops

Media, Reading & Writing

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.

9 comments on “PageRipper 1: Readers & Bookshops”

  1. Bob Low says:

    ”Trilology”- a sequence of three connected books,both written,and intended to be read by,complete imbeciles. May also include a fourth component, comprising a boxed set containing all three volumes together-see ”Quadrilology”.

    It could catch on. Isn’t the English language a thing of wonder?

  2. Dan Terrell says:

    Interesting bookshop photo above; curved bench under and around the shelves. Nice, but a bit hard, perhaps.
    Possible sign: “For Safety Patrons Should Slide Aside When A Complete ‘Golden Bough” Is Lifted Off Above Them.”
    Lead: Brouser Killed by Falling Bough in Bookshop

  3. Cat Eldridge says:

    Fifty Shades of Grey has been the best selling book in my favorite local bookshop.

    Do the owners care? No as it helps their bootomline. They also sell lots of excellent mysteries including Christopher’s and love doing so, but it’s shit like Fifty Shades of Grey that unfortunately make the purses fat.

    Mind you I thought the Potter books were terribly boring too.

  4. admin says:

    Interesting that JK Rowling admitted ‘homage’ to TE White in Harry Potter (I’m writing a piece on the wonderful White) while Neil Gaiman is bolder, saying: ‘We both stole from him.’

  5. Dan Terrell says:

    Point of clarification, please: who is TE White? May be a dunce on this, but simply don’t know. (And Amazon doesn’t list books for such a writer.) Know T. H. White, but assume you have not mis-struck a key. Any help from the ether?

  6. admin says:

    Sorry, typed too fast. Terry White, author of The Once and Future KIng also wrote many other novels, some I’ve just had to add to Wikipedia because no-one else has (I’ve read most of them).

  7. Dan Terrell says:

    Yes, I know how that happens.
    T.H. White is one of my favorite authors and he wrote a great deal of top drawer stuff. I, too, have read much of his work, including his newpaper pieces, which would be dated for many now.
    My mother got us started on him by reading him to us in the afternoons. White has a nice, understanding and reflective style with a twinkle. He was one of those writers who step back, stood aside, and write with a focus on the “outsider.” Did he hook you on The New Yorker? Those who haven’t read his non-fiction should with the understanding it is dated.
    i’d say Admin’s blog readers are building a 3-D portrait of him, too.

  8. J. Folgard says:

    Regarding that second nugget, I’ve heard nearly the same thing (twice!)last year, only this time it was about ‘Twilight’. Is there a pattern here?

  9. Ralph Williams says:

    I can still remember Foyles from when the delivery people had to stack the shelves themselves, meaning you often had to move stacks of books just piled on the floor to get to the one you wanted, and when it had a floor plan that was only less confusing than the old Heelas department store in Reading.

    How about illitrilate for a badly written trilogy?

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