Monthly Archives: November 2018

There’s More Than One Way To Read A Book

Back in 2009 I interviewed my editor at Penguin Random House on the confusing subject of book sizes and shapes. Simon Taylor told me: ‘In the UK, the large size is generally referred to as B format. Trade paperbacks tend to be larger still – Royal octavo or Demy formats. But in the US they […]

Sharp Tongued English

Sir John Gielgud made so many horrendous gaffes that there’s a book about them called ‘Gielgoodies’ – the Shakespearian actor was forever insulting friends by mistake. He was blunt and thoughtless, but it must have been difficult to take offence when he’d say, ‘I don’t think Pemberton’s a good designer. You want someone who will […]

Finding A Way Through Fake News

Fake news. Massaged press releases. Omissions of fact. Inaccuracies. Hidden agendas. Prejudice. And in Trump’s case, outright, instantly disprovable lies. How do you negotiate your way through this minefield to get to what’s actually happening? There was an old tabloid trick that still stands today; print the lie, retract it tomorrow – because nobody reads […]

Stealing From Libraries

Have you ever stolen a book from a library? Is there any circumstance where this is acceptable? We’ll get to that in a moment. First, some background. Libraries figured hugely in my childhood and teenage years, but I don’t suppose they feel as necessary in young lives now, certainly not in time-poor London. Taking two […]