Sunday, 27 June 2010

I'm in the British Library!

Well, speaking personally, not just at the moment, but The Whicharts has finally been catalogued by the British Library. I'm very proud: it's an achievement of my own and nobody can say it's because of my [lovely] grandfathers.

Next try - get The Whicharts into a high street bookshop. Indie bookshops have been so generous with their help, support and time, but my dream [intention?] is to manage the next step.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Back to business

Busy with business emails and packing tonight. I'm relieved and delighted about that. I'll put in Tania's picture again, just because I like it. Well, she's actually called 'Eyes of Youth', but I always saw something similar (Ruth Gervis like?) in my mind's eye for both Petrova Fossil and Tania Whichart.

Right, to business. I must email the person who would like The Whicharts for their book group. Then it's a case of packing up orders and I'll reward myself with my new Persephone title and a mug of tea just as soon as that's done.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

British Library / Richmal Crompton

A British Library card is one of my most treasured possessions and I use it as often as I can. First readings of real treasures were taken there. Rare books like Triffeny, Dorita Fairlie Bruce's appealing tale of an ambitious young girl working in the family pottery. Also, Richmal Crompton. Now, I'm not a fan of William Brown, but I have enjoyed the adult fiction I've been able to read. Much of it is scarce and expensive, pity. Persephone reprinted Family Roundabout, though I preferred The Ridleys. I'm fascinated by books like these, not for the quality of the writing, but for the social history. English small town life at its most insular and curious. It's a fantastic contradiction that makes for very interesting fiction, though living in a pretty petty-minded goldfish bowl must have been stifling. All terribly period 1950s with a distrust of newcomers and closely-guarded secrets.

Today must be a day to return to marketing my book and chasing up the rights to the new titles I'd like to republish. I'm also doing all I can to get The Whicharts into high street bookshops and must contact more independent bookshops as a fair few have been terribly helpful and agreed to stock it. I've already updated my website to show that I have two shops (Amazon and the Margin Notes Books one) and can take orders via either. I'm also still arguing with the display as my website is written to display in Garamond (like layout of The Whicharts), but the site prefers to choose its own fonts at different times. Never mind, new content is there and I can hope that new buyers also find their way.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

I've been out and about bookhunting with a friend today. We tried the charity shops and one secondhand bookshop of a new town, but the many books on offer weren't quite the ones we wanted. My own local market town did once have a secondhand bookshop, but it closed down, just as I had my first job and was earning enough to be able to buy books; I still miss it. Run by a kind lady with masses of stock, well-priced and a shop full of character complete with a family of squirrels scuttling about in the roof. Today's secondhand bookshop is further away and hidden in a quiet backstreet at the end of the high street. It's a a proper secondhand bookshop where the stock is double-shelved, more stock is in tottering heaps on the floor and boxes of cheaper books are ranged neatly outside. I only wish I'd been able to find something I wanted. Hunting through my shelves, I don't seem to have:

1. Robin - FHB

2. The Secret Garden - FHB (a hardback reprint with nice illustrations please)

3. More Alexandre Dumas, preferably in hardback with some good illustrations

4. Fill in the gaps in my Arthur Ransome collection

I'm now off outside to enjoy the last of the warmth and reread The Valley of Secrets. I splurged on a signed copy earlier this month and am reading the older copy. One of those wonderful escapist titles that treats conservation seriously and kindly.