The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by G.W. Dahlquist

The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by  G.W. Dahlquist
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Buying Books

What makes a person to buy a book? I often have reviews thrust under my nose and requests/orders placed. There's a fair amount of 'my friend recommends...... Have you got it?' Occasionally it's something heard on the radio or tv. Sometimes it's a visual request, like 'I saw it in here last week. Can't remember the title or the author but it had a yellow cover!' Big names sell big books. Can't think why but they do. Something to do with the human condition? Browsing happens, but tends to occur more frequently in the vicinity of the half price and 3 for 2 offers. Some just can't resist a bargain (but can resist a better choice of books?). Getting people out of their comfort zones among the bargain bins and into the shelves beyond is a challenge.

So is podcasting and downloading samples the way forward in the marketing jungle? It's a damned good idea. If you want a bit of satire and the dulcet tones of Radio 4's Peter Donaldson, then listen to this free download courtesy of John Morrison's Anthony Blair Captain of School.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Orwell reviews

Finlay Publisher has managed a great set of reviews. Last Saturday's Guardian and now in the TLS (22 February 2007). Check both of these out as they are well worth the read.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Orwell - 50 years on

It's interesting to see that George Orwell (Eric Blair) can still ruffle feathers (or in this case a young girl's skirt). It's worth checking out the review in the Sunday Times last week (February 4). Dione Venables, author of the Postscript, questions the reviewers interpretation. George's hormones were definitely playing a part, however. The slim little book in question can be found on our shelves and at Finaly publisher

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

tired but still kicking

Wow, four months of silence. And why? Well, I've been off learning a tad more about the book trade. Hmm.....I trust it WILL be REALLY USEFUL! If only I can shake off the depression!

So where to start? Well....

What is this glut of 'reference' books about? 'Eats, shoots', etc. has reproduced whilst our backs were turned and now the shelves are awash. They are like a mould, spreading along the shelves. It's not that I'm against a bit of infill....but this is taking it a bit far. The old brain cells can only take so much. What we need is a publisher to say "And now for something completely different."

Friday, September 15, 2006

A Buzz in Bloomsbury

It was meant to be a Grand Day Out – a day of absolute indulgence, wandering around some of my old haunts from the days when I worked in WC1 and then on to do some credit card damage in Liberty’s.

Great Russell Street is in the heart of Bloomsbury and boasts a fair number of publishers. We were within a few brisk paces of the British Museum when Julie, my friend cried,
‘Oh! What a waste!’
She was pointing to a skip. It was a big, rusting hulk of a thing, piled high with stuffed, black bin liners and…….BOOKS. We both made a swift dive towards it. We could hardly believe what we were staring at. It was stacked with piles and piles of books! Brand New Books! WOW! We thought this cannot be true. We hauled out a few. They were large and glossy. Tomes, stuffed full of photographs on architecture, design, art deco, lofts, minimalism, staircases, typography. We glanced around us……where had it all come from?
Suddenly another bin bag was thrown onto the pile. The culprit looked a little….dusty!
‘Are these yours?’ we asked, indicating the books.
‘Yes,’ he said. ‘We are the publishers and we are moving offices. So we’re having a clear out. Help yourselves.’
Well, whilst we were rummaging through one end of the skip, making a pile of ‘definites’ and ‘possibles’ and wondering which one of us would clamber into the middle of the skip to get at those books just out of reach, we noticed that someone else had paused beside us.
‘Are these…..?’
‘Yes,’ we said. ‘Help yourself’
Next several students were up to their elbows. They didn’t ask to join, they just threw themselves, heart and soul, into the skip. Then a cyclist stopped, pulled out a book on architecture, tucked it under his arm and cycled off. More passers-by stopped and joined in. They were like bees around a honeypot. The buzz had come to Bloomsbury…well a skip in Bloomsbury. Julie and I changed ends. Our piles had already reached an unmanageable weight. These were BIG books, remember.
One rather lovely guy said he had to come over to see what was going on because from across the road the sight was bizarre…..smartly dressed people rummaging in a skip. We thanked him for the compliment on our clothes. He said he was not wearing his spectacles. Hmmm…. Then another guy said he would enjoy reading these books, especially as so many of them were in German, his native language.
Ah, yes, that was a SLIGHT downside to our find. Many of these magnificent books were in French and German as well as English. But hey….we can still look at the pictures, can’t we!
Sated, we decided to continue on our way to Liberty’s.
Ah…..BIG PROBLEM. Heavy books and lots of them.
‘We’ll have to buy a trolley,’ suggested Julie. ‘A cheap one.’
Unfortunately we didn’t find one cheap enough by Julie’s definition until we were halfway along Oxford Street. By then our arms were about ten feet longer than they had been at the start of the day and we were struggling along the street like a couple of primates.
However, a trolley we found and bought and it did well to survive a gruelling day being hauled around Liberty’s.
Actually the trolley did verywell. By the end of the day it was an ex-trolley. Its wheels were no more. One was in shreds, the other too hot to touch. The weight it had managed to transport across London and back out to the sticks had been far beyond its capabilities. We will remember it fondly.

We also give our thanks to the publisher who gave so many people so much pleasure.
Laurence King, Publishers extraordinaire. Your books are wonderful! Thank you……And may our arms one day resume their normal length.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Is it all worth the effort..........?

The angst of writing is great. The preparation, the avoidance, the preparation again. More tea, the light's not right (or write). More tea, perhaps something to eat. Another chair, the space is just not right, move the desk, rearrange the room, start decorating, maybe I need to move house. Let's get the paper, look at houses. What area, what can I afford? Well not this country, that's for sure....perhaps I should emigrate...let's find a map.


Well, maybe not. But the house is definitely not in the right place, or the room, or the desk.Maybe I'll just settle for tea!

It's great when a day finishes and you can say that day was all write!
It's even better when a review is okay too. Check out Conversations with Mr Prain review in StopSmiling......and view it on our shelves.