Hurray. Today is World Book Day. Let's call it WBD from now on shall we.
We were up bright and early to make sure much fun and frivolity was had around the borough.
Most schools seem to choose the week that WBD is in to have a book week, and as well as taking two authors out to schools yesterday, we'd organised for seven schools to have authors visit them today for book related enjoyment.
Graham Marks, Guy Bass, Ciaran Murtagh, Karen McCombie and Ann Jungman were out and about today in schools entertaining and informing many happy kids and bringing books and reading to life for them.
There's something very special about author visits to schools when they go right, where the kids are clearly excited and engaged in what the author has to say. The schools that we visited today were brilliant and the authors all left feeling as though the experience was a very positive one.
We didn't get too many kids through the door to pick up their £1 WBD book (which is produced especially for the day), but I suspect we'll get a few in over the weekend.
The day itself was once again, very encouraging. Our local newspaper, The Journal, comes out on a Thursday, and in it was an article with a picture of Tim and I looking very serious with copies of Legend of A Suicide and Fludd in our hands (two excellent books, if I may say so. In fact, Fludd is my favourite Hilary Mantel book, which is saying something after Wolf Hall). Also, on the following page, weekly columnist Ivor Baddiel had dedicated his whole column to us.
This, we hope, will bring our appeal to a few more local people, ready for next week.
It's a real joy at the moment working at the shop, not least because we're selling lots of books. But it's the books we're selling too that are really cheering me up.
Today we sold our last copy of the A-Z of Possible Worlds by Anne Tillyer, a brilliant collection of short stories published by the delightfully inventive Roastbooks, two copies of the afforementioned Fludd, by Hilary Mantel, and some splendid picture books too.
David vann is selling really well at the moment and we're also having to increase our range of gaslight crime (victorian and turn of the century british mysteries). It's been a while since we've been in a position to do that.
I've been asked by quite a few people how I calculate the Strugglometer percentage rise.
It is a highly complicated formula that I have employed 4 harvard academics to calculate for me. Not even I know exactly how it works. But I do know that it's accurate. And I also know that what follows this sentence is todays Strugglometer, brought to you today by Cypressa Pistachio Nuts. They're not just the nut choice for Cyprus, they're the nut choice for everyone (produced in Iran).
This is a two day calculation, as I wasn't working yesterday, but 6% in two days is really great. This was helped massively by the sales of the books at schools today for WBD and I want to thank all the schools and all the authors for the effort that they put into making it a really great day.
So two more days befroe the BIG WEEK and already we're more than a third of the way towards our target of relative safety.
Tomorrow is storytelling in the morning and more school visits, and a lot more book ordering in the hope that the weekend will be a good one.
Thanks to everyone who's offered stuff for the Big Green Bookshop online auction, which will begin on March 10th and run for a week.
A reminder that we're asking publishers, authors, editors, celebrities etc if they can spare stuff (tickets, signed books etc) or offer services (author visits, workshops etc) to auction off. Half the proceeds will go to 3 local schools who we feel really need a boost.
Anyway, as from tomorrow I will not have an internet connection at my house (weeps softly), but I shall try and keep you up to date with how things are going somehow or other.