Or, to be more precise, my thanks to Sam Richardson (Head of Religious Publishing) and Ruth Roff (Publishing Manager, Bibles, Music & Liturgical) at Collins for their generous hospitality in the splendid surroundings of HC HQ in London yesterday for the AGM of the BA Christian Booksellers Group (that’s the Booksellers Association, by the way, not British Airways, although if British Airways should ever want to offer their support to the Christian Booksellers Group I’m sure we could come to an arrangement).
AGMs are supposed to be boring, of course. This wasn’t: lively discussions all round, though I missed the first bit because I went to the wrong platform on the Piccadilly line then got lost in the precincts of Hammersmith tube station. Most embarrassing for a Londoner.
Mark Clifford (pictured right), of Sarum College Bookshop, gave us an overview of the trade during the last year in his Chairman’s Report (if you’re a member of the BA CBG you’ll receive a copy in the post along with the official minutes thanks to John Parke, Company Secretary & Head of Meetings, who kept us under control). Like every other area of the book trade, we’ve had our ups and downs, but overall I think it’s fairly safe to say that things are looking reasonably positive, especially for those embracing the challenge of online bookselling. Then Mark very kindly drew me into the discussions and invited me to say a few words about this blog: what can I say? Here it is: you have arrived.
Once the official business was over Sam and Ruth came in to join us along with Nick Page. Nick told us about how he got into writing, explained how he worked out how tall Zacchaeus was and generally entertained us sufficiently to persuade me that I really should make sure I’ve got his Bible Book in stock. Nick, if you should happen to read this, please do something about your home page: someone seems to have nicked the pages; and do tell us more of your story.
A superb buffet lunch was followed by an open forum with Sam and Ruth discussing forthcoming editions of the Good News Bible and various other things that escape me right now. More later, hopefully. Time for me to get ready for work. Sam, Ruth: once again, thank you. To those members of the CBG who weren’t there: believe me, people — you missed a treat. And a goody bag including the latest Collins Gem Times Su Doku book.