The last week has been a bit of a blur,(more Graham Coxon than Damon Albarn) and we've once again been dazzled by the generosity of people.
Since last Tuesday so much has happened and I shall do my best to squeeze it all in.
Twitter has been continuing to spread the word of our appeal and so far we've had hundreds (if not thousands) of people retweeting us, or sending their own messages asking for people to help us out.
Our message has also been spread through the wonders of Facebook too and i'm still amazed and delighted about how often i'm seeing our 'please help' message on so many people's walls.
I think these two things have made what would a few years ago been a very local issue into something that has been read about, and acted upon, all over the world. I shall talk about the more local response later, but this global exposure (if you can call it that) has made a real impact in many ways. Firstly, people who have never heard of The Big Green Bookshop are suddenly buying books from us, because they understand the importance of Independent Bookshops like ours and want to make sure that we ride this out. Secondly, people in the book trade have heard about it which means we're getting offers of help from authors and publishers.
And this is a GOOD THING. More people have heard about us. We are essentially a small bookshop on a side road in North London and we are constantly trying to raise our profile and encourage more shoppers. This has, without a shadow of a doubt, happened.
Our website has been well and truly battered and where usually we expected one or two online book orders a week, we've been getting dozens. We've had about 30,000 hits in the last couple of weeks, as opposed to around 1,500. This has raised a few major cock ups on the website, which we're now trying to fix, but it's a good problem to have.
The reaction of our appeal on a local level has been incredible. It feels (and looks) like we've had our shelves stripped bare on some days and keeping stuff in stock is another of those problems that we're happy to have. Our suppliers have been brilliant and being able to get books for the next working day is a real bonus.
Last week was officially our 'please buy an extra book' week and it was a huge success. The struggleometer will be here in a moment, so you can see just how successful. We have some more work to do, but...
So, now we're almost at 60%. This is flippin' lush innit? Our delectable customers have really been spectacular this week and the jump on the stugglometer is truly amazing.
We also had our first Comedy night last Friday, organinsed brilliantly and compered by the podcaster extraordinaire Chris Brosnahan . It was a massive success and it was standing room only by the time the fist comedian came on. I stupidly took no photos, but we shall be doing this every month so I promise to do so next time.
The Saturday and Sunday just gone was brilliant too, and we were visited by the lovely David Nicholls for a signing. He was charming and his kids persuaded him to spend some money too...
There's still two weeks and a bit to go in March and we've got loads of great things lined up which will hopefully push the Strugglometer close to its target.
Here are some highlights.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 15th March) The Book Quiz
Our monthly quiz with your questiomaster Greg Stekelman. If you want to come along, do it. Do it. Do it.
We will be doing our online auction very soon. Some of the amazing items up for auction include a day learning about book translating with Gallic Books, a one to one session on journalism with Ellie Levenson, freelance journalist and lecturer and 4 tickets to Legoland in Manchester. You don't want to miss out on these great offers. The auction will go live on Thursday.
On March 20th we are very proud to be associated with the launch of this.
Crouch End doesn't have a bookshop (except Oxfam) at the moment and this is a possible solution to this. This is a really exciting project which you can read more about here.
Also in the following couple of weeks we have a big old tweet up (details here), Andy Stanton is going to be entertaining 300 local schoolkids and The Society of Young Publishers are throwing a party for us on March 31st (details here)
Many more things will be going on too, but i'm going to leave you all now and tuck into a cheese and cucumber sandwich.
To keep you going until next time, here is a recipe for falafel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 1 15 oz. can chickpeas, drained
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 3/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons flour
- oil for frying (canola or vegetable)
Mash chickpeas, making sure to mix ingredients together. You can also combine ingredients in a food processor. You want the result to be a thick paste.
Form the mixture into small balls, about the size of a ping pong ball. Slightly flatten.
Fry in 2 inches of oil at 350 degrees until golden brown (2-5 minutes).