So finally the moment arrives when we can name the shop. The response to the competition has been phenomenal, and we've had almost 500 entries.
So the scene is set.
VENUE: The Queen's in Crouch End
Tim West (Strongbow)
Simon Key (Kronenburg)
Julie West (Strongbow)
Katie Chuck (Fosters)
Stephen Moore (Amstel)
THE RULES: The 5 judges had previously been given a list containing the 360 different names that had been suggested. They had individually gone through the list saying yes or no to each. The shortlist that came to the pub that night had the 24 names that had got at least 3 votes. There was a supplemetary list for consideration of 22 names that had got 2 votes.
6:00 Tim arrives at the pub and immediately gets a pint of Strongbow. He bumps into an old friend and starts telling him about the shop.
6:05 Simon arrives and is introduced to Tim's friend as he gets in a pint of magic.
6:20 Julie arrives and second pints are ordered
6:25 Stephen gets to the pub. He is the senior reporter for the local paper and an all round lovely fella. He plumps for Amstel, and the 4 of us find a table.
6:40 Katie arrives, gets a drink in and the judging begins
6.58 From the list of entries with 2 votes 'Mr Book' and 'Blurb' are the two that get onto the final list. Those that fell by the wayside at this stage include 'Ready Steady Read', 'Scribbles and Blotts' and 'Simply Books'. Bad Luck
Julie and Katie wonder why Simon and Tim voted for the 'Booky Wooky Bookshop'
7:10 Before the judges go through the final list of 26, one-by-one, each explains what they looked for in the name. This raises a few questions but also is very enlightening, and gives the other judges interesting angles to consider.
7:20-7:30 Backstreet Books, Book City, Book Island, Book-Topia, and Can You Imagine fall by the wayside. All deserve praise.
Stephen was delighted that soon it would all be over
7:31-7:40 Chapter and Verse is controversially removed, despite strong arguments. The first two names get through to the next round. 'The Big Green Bookshop' and 'Bookworms'. Those that missed the cut were 'Chapter 1', 'Chapters', 'Cornerstone's (another tough decision), 'Escape' and 'First Edition'.
It all gets too much for Tim
7:41-7:55 having continued to keep the drinking arms busy, 'Green Pages', 'Neverending Story', the wonderful 'Booky Wooky Bookshop', 'Turn the Page' and both the 'Wood Green Book Store' and 'Wood Green's Booksop' sadly fail to get into the final. 'New Leaf' and 'Pageturners' are generally liked and make the final shortlist.
7:56-8:00 comfort break
8:01-8:06 'Woodies' and Tim's pre-match favourite 'The Bookeniers' are voted off, whilst 'the Book Corner', squeaks through. The brave attempt by 'Mr Book' and 'Blurb' finally come to an end.
Police are called as things start to get messy
So we're down to the last 5 names
The Big Green Bookshop
8:15 We spend a few minutes looking at the shortlist and Tim tells Stephen that his Mother appeared in 'The Greatest Rock'n'Roll Swindle'. Also in discussion are David Gray (bad, bad, bad), Bob Dylan (Good, Good, Good) and a 4 Bedroom House in Crouch End which is on the market for £2.8 million (insane in the membrane).
8:30 Two names are mentioned by each judge and therefore get into the final.
It's between the Big Green Bookshop and The Book Corner
8:45 we've been going round in circles for a while and have said great things about each of the names. Julie suggests we each say which one of the two we prefer, and incredibly we all say the same name.
It's one that before this evening was never really in anyones top 5, but has slowly crept into peoples imaginations. The choice made people come up with new ideas and concepts for the shop and has given the shop a brand. We can all see it in our minds and the name of the shop will be.....
THE BIG GREEN BOOKSHOP
Give it 24 hours and we hope you'll agree that it's a great name. Thanks to everyone who came up with suggestions. We will be using some of the ideas in the new year in the shop, and as always would love people to continue with the advice which has been really appreciated.
11:05 after a lovely Pizza we get home and crawl into bed (not all 5 of us in the same bed you understand) and fall asleep, dreaming of being chased down the road by a can of green paint.