On Sunday it's our first stocktake - which, let's face it, is dull, dull, dull and no amount of honeyed blogging words are going to make it sound anything other than it is - a systematic recording of everything currently residing in our shop. However, it will give us our first definite confirmation that we have been woefully ill-disciplined in allowing our stock to increase dramatically past what we originally planned for in the business plan. Ah well. I've asked Brenda to post an event report following the visit of Tim Pears on Wednesday. All I'll say is, thanks to Tim for coming along (and particularly for his very kind comments about the shop), and thanks to everyone who came along and made it such a great evening. I am also grateful to Andrew Ffrench (a.k.a The Page Turner at the Oxford Mail) for coming along, and then writing this terrific report on the event the next day. Andrew lives in Abingdon, and he and his son Luke have been great supporters since we've opened. I'm going to blog about this at the start of May (when I shall be posting our April bestseller list) - but Andrew's particularly keen to hear about your top five books (either recently, or of all time) - so go post yours on his blog. It's great to see so many blogs springing up, but big corporates may have some way to go before they fully realise the potential (and dangers) of allowing unfettered feedback. The Orange Prize (sorry, Orange Broadband Prize,
- ack, ack - why can't people leave these prize titles alone?) has set up the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction Forum (hey, hey). All I'll say is that you don't want to be posting open-ended questions like "What Do You Think about The Prize?" - it's just inviting abuse...I'm sure a sharp-eyed Orange Broadband employee will remove those recent comments shortly...oh dear.
And talking of prizes, one of our customers asked us if we could recommend one of the Carnegie Prize shortlist for his 13 year old boy. There doesn't seem to be an age guide as far as the Carnegie medals go (and of course it's practically impossible to place an age range on a children's book) but reading through the list, I was struggling to find something suitable...I'm veering between "Road of Bones" and "My Swordhand is Singing", but any other recommendations out there?
(BTW, this year's list - and I can't claim to be an expert on previous years' lists - struck me as particularly grim. The phrase 'a tough read' gets mentioned several times in the judges comments...maybe it's a reaction against wizards and magic?)