MY APOLOGIES for the lack of news postings here over the last few weeks: life, as they say. As always, however, there’s been plenty happening in the trade — and plenty more coming up — so I’m pleased to be able to present a mix of stories old, new and forthcoming. Don’t forget to give me a shout anytime you have news to share: here, on facebook or via twitter…
- 10 Years of The Good Bookstall: Celebrations at CRE
- Bob Hartman Story in New World Record Storytelling Attempt
- Facebook Update: FM Ballymena, Manna Christian Centre, Northampton Streatham, and Saint Andrew Press (Updated 21/05/2011)
- Living Oasis Edinburgh Still Trading Closing Down 4th June 2011 (Updated 20/05/2011)
- New MD for Alban Books
- Norwich Christian Resource Centre Enters Nominations for Telegraph Book Club Tour
- Wildcard: Sainsbury’s Wins Bookseller of the Year Award
10 Years of The Good Bookstall: Celebrations at CRE
MY PERSONAL THANKS AND CONGRATULATIONS to Mary Bartholomew and the rest of the team at The Good Bookstall for their generous hospitality at CRE last week: it was an honour and a privilege to be able to share in their 10th anniversary celebrations, as well as to meet so many other friends and colleagues from the trade during the course of the day.
For a few more photos featuring some of the booksellers and publishers present see my CRE 2011 facebook photo album:
Bob Hartman Story in New World Record Storytelling Attempt
DO YOU ENJOY STORYTELLING? Then make your way to the Peace in the Park Festival at The Ponderosa in Sheffield on 4th June where Self Help Africa are planning to set a new world record for the most adults reading aloud to children at a single location. The chosen story, Tortoise Brings Food, is an African tale retold by Bob Hartman in the The Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book.
I’ve been telling stories professionally for over twenty years, and I am always amazed by the power of a story well told to capture and entertain and delight. Sharing stories with children is an opportunity to cement a relationship and shape a life. I’m so pleased to be involved in a project that encourages parents to read to their children, and at the same time, contributes to the needs of parents and children in Africa. Let’s break the record and make a change in the world!
Storytelling starts at 3pm, with Guinness World Records adjudicators present. More details and a pdf practice sheet of the story available from Lion Hudson: Lion Children’s Books in world record storytelling attempt!
Facebook Update (Updated 21/05/2011)
IT’S ALL HAPPENING on facebook with FM Ballymena and Manna Christian Centre, Streatham, setting up new pages — don’t be shy now, click on through and hit those Like buttons: you know you want to … and you never know, they might even like your pages in return.
Meanwhile, if you happen to be up north or are passing through Edinburgh at lunchtime on 23rd May, St Andrew Press would love to see you at their General Assembly Event celebrating their new life as part of the Hymns Ancient & Modern family:
Saint Andrew Press, the publishing house of the Church of Scotland, will be holding a special General Assembly event to celebrate its new life working as a part of Hymns Ancient & Modern. Come along and enjoy lunch, hear about the many resources available, meet staff and friends of Saint Andrew Press and collect vouchers for limited numbers of free copies of Leith Fisher’s fantastic But I Say To You!
RSVP to Michael Addison: full details on the event page…
Living Oasis Edinburgh Still Trading Closing Down (Updated 7.45pm, 20/05/2011)
DESPITE AN APPARENT GOOF-UP by the company’s publicity department, which somehow omitted the Edinburgh branch from flyers (pictured) and School Catalogues given out to punters at CRE last week, I’m reliably informed that Living Oasis Edinburgh, the company’s sole-surviving store north of the border, is still in business.
UPDATE 7.45pm, 20/05/2011: In an announcement posted on facebook this evening, Living Oasis Edinburgh have indicated that they will cease trading on 4th June 2011.
Elsewhere, unfortunately, things are also looking less than hunky-dory with still no news of opening dates for the all-new bright-and-shiny Leeds and Liverpool stores. Independent sources indicate that a number of suppliers have learnt the hard way and, fingers burnt by non-payment of bills, have had to withdraw credit facilities, leaving staff in some shops struggling to meet customer requests: please continue to pray for everyone caught up in what seems to be a crippling downhill spiral.
To end on a more positive note, however, the company did manage to put on an impressive stand at CRE offering free coffee for anyone spending £5 or over: congratulations to all concerned.
New MD for Alban Books
WENDY RIMMINGTON, who was appointed as MD for Alban Books in November last year, has moved on, making way for new MD Jonny Gallant, formerly of Saint Andrew Press. Commenting on his appointment in a brief press release (pdf, 41kb), Jonny said:
Alban Books is a very exciting company, working with a terrific range of US publishers and I’m really looking forward to putting my sales and marketing background to use in facing the opportunities and challenges ahead.
I’ve invited Jonny to contribute a guest post to tell us more: watch this space…
Norwich Christian Resource Centre Enters Nominations for Telegraph Book Club Tour
CONGRATULATIONS to Norwich Christian Resource Centre, one of several Christian bookshops that have entered nominations for the Daily Telegraph/National Book Tokens Book Club Tour. In the section explaining why the shop should be chosen to host a Book Club Tour event, they say:
We hold book signings and author discussion evenings on a monthly basis usually complimented by a two course meal with wine/coffee in our 44 seater cafe.
The events are not always faith based and we have local historian and author Neil Storey talking about the history of Norwich in September.
Sadly we were just unable to attract PD James last Christmas as she felt she was now too old to travel. A monthly book club has met for the past 11 years reading authors as diverse as Delia Smith to Kate Atkinson. I would ideally like to attract Sally Vickers.
- Centre Bookshop, London
- CLC Birmingham
- Revive Bookshop and Coffee Shop, Comber — so far the only bookshop nominated in Northern Ireland!
- Sarum College Bookshop, Salisbury
Nominations are still open: head on over there today if you’d like to submit your own nomination…
Wildcard: Sainsbury’s Wins Bookseller of the Year Award
LAST BUT NOT LEAST: Congratulations to Sainsbury’s on winning The Bookseller‘s “Martina Cole General or Chain Bookselling Company of the Year Award”:
Sainsbury’s was honoured with the Martina Cole General or Chain Bookselling Company of the Year Award after reinvigorating book zones, increasing book sales by more than 33% and attracting new book buyers to the market. One judge said: “We should celebrate the fact that they are embracing books and offering people an alternative place to buy—somewhere they can spend time browsing as well as buying.”
Whether or not Sainsbury’s genuinely qualifies as a bookseller is a hotly contested issue in the report’s comments section: well worth reading. From my point of view there’s a certain irony here: having moved to Sainsbury’s following LST’s redundancy proceedings last year, I now find myself working for the nation’s leading bookseller — and I haven’t had to restock a single book in my entire time there…