Sunday, August 27, 2006
Thursday, August 24, 2006
I read somewhere that - when performing - Elvis Presley would insist on having his trailer exactly 1000 yards from the venue. During this 1000 yard walk, no matter what state he was in (from drugs, drink, squirrel burgers, etc.) by the time he got to the stage, he was in the mindset of 'The King' that would allow him to perform.
I can't say exactly what the mindset of a bookseller is yet, and my walk this morning was a tad over 1000 yards, but there's definitely something in this. A nice walk, fresh air, getting in the mood to talk to people about books. And the walk home this evening allowed me to slough off the day before getting back to the house.
Today we suffered a mix-up with our local Waitrose. At 2pm today we hadn't had our scheduled delivery of books from Gardners, and as there were a couple of customer orders in there ("yes, they will definitely be here today") I was getting a little nervous. I then got a phonecall from someone called Rob at Waitrose: "We've got your books".
Waitrose is about 5 minutes walk from us (in fact, if I'm in a hurry, it's faster to walk home through their car park). Plenty of our customers take advantage of the car parking there to pop in. So I ran round there to see what had happened. They had received an order from Gardners (now we know where they get their books!) and the Parcel Force guy had lobbed out our box along with theirs (they had more boxes than us - sob). They had already unpacked and checked off all the books, but I think 'Rob' smelled a rat when he came across some Betjeman poetry, a 1940s Agatha Christie anthology, "My Name Is Red" by Orhan Pamuk, and an obscure hardback children's book called "The Runaway Dinner". We're no longer in Kansas, etc. Anyway - thanks to Rob for tracking our shop down and giving us a ring. What a star.
Monday, August 21, 2006
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
- Don't worry about it until we know something more tangible (although we took note of all the advice from Mr Laties and others).
- Continue with our policy of developing our lovely bookshop as our first priority and, really, the only thing we have real control over.
- Start making offerings and the odd sacrifice to the "Good Luck" message from Tim Waterstone proudly on display on the wall behind our counter. (Perhaps we could start with ritual disembowling of some of our least-loved books??)
I went to a talk given by Tim Waterstone just as our idea of opening a bookshop looked like becoming a reality - and of course, bought his book. I seem to remember that when Tim started Waterstones, he'd been booted out of WHSmith and effectively carried out a 15 year vendetta to squash them into the dirt (they in turn allegedly ran an internal corporate 'book' taking bets on when he'd go bankrupt - nice, eh?).
I don't think Waterstones would be quaking in their boots over anything we do.
Talking of getting inspiration from great booksellers, I had to go to London yesterday, and took the opportunity to wander a couple of times around Waterloo until I located Crockatt & Powell (both the bookshop and the owners themselves). I urge anyone in London (and outside for that matter) to seek them out, marvel in the utter wonderfulness of their stock selection, and (of course) buy a book or seven. Adam, Matthew, it was a pleasure to meet you both, and, as through the blog you were generous to a fault in advice and inspiration.I'd like to repeat our invite for anyone in the blogosphere thinking of coming tomorrow evening. 6-8pm, wine and books. Lots of both. We hope to see you here.