Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Quiz, Pop-up bookshop and Strugglometer.

Last night was our (almost) monthly quiz. We started this last year and it's been a pretty popular evening so far. It's a predominantly bookish quiz & a fairly large part of its popularity is without doubt the presence of our question master Greg Stekelman, who's been a huge supporter of the bookshop since its inception.
It's a good laugh and not in any way stuffy. I would go as far as to say it was stuffless, in fact.
At its peak we've had 10 teams, which was a bit of a squeeze, and usually there are between 6 and 8 teams of 3 or 4 people doing battle for the monthly prize of £25. The kind of money you can only dream of.
Last night was a bit of a monster.
13 teams turned up. Thirteen. A bakers dozen, unlucky for some (not us), THIRTEEN! (my exclamation mark quoto has now been used up).
We have no room for thirteen teams surely...
Yes we do. Of course we do.
But how Simon? HOW??
Well, it was a bit jammed, yes and we did run out of chairs. But we have good people around us, and Ayesha (a member of one of the teams) immediately dispatched a couple of people to her house to fetch some.
Within 10 minutes we had 6 more chairs and this was just enough for the last few people to sit down ready for the quiz (except Chris, who turned up a bit late).

Here is the scene from the quiz.

Notice all that thinking going on. It must have been a tricky question Greg had just asked.

The quiz this time was less bookish and more cultural, and we had a round on the Simpsons, Art and Music (in which we heard a version of Cliff Richard singing The Girl From Ipanema), as well as a couple of book related rounds. It seems that my anagram round was particularly unpopular, but I shall continue to torture peole with it, and also my question 'which two booker prize judges have also played Ken Barlow's girlfriend in Coronation Street?' went down extremely well....
We also learned that John Keats was 5 feet 1 inches tall and Catherine Cookson was NOT a author of romantic novels apparently.

As the winner was announced and the boos and jeers subsided, everyone set off into the night, hoepfully happier that they'd come to the bookshop an evening of fun.
Hopefully we can squeeze in 15 teams next time. We like a challenge.

On a completely seperate note, we are involved in something very very exciting that's starting on Sunday.

It's called THE PORTABLE BOOKSHOP, and it's a fascinating and I think innovative way of geting books out there.
Here's the background of it.
In conjunction with the Unlibrary, based in Hornsey Library, we'll be setting up temporary bookstalls in different cafes, bars and shops around Crouch End with a brilliant selection of stock carefully chosen for each venue.
The idea has so much potential, and so far there are 6 businesses that have agreed to be venues for these pop-up bookshop, including bars, supermarkets, the Library cafes and an optometrist and hopefully we will eventually have a bookshop in a different venue each day of the week.
We're looking at having different stock profile at each venue, so for example, we could have modern fiction at one venue on a Monday, Local authors at another venue on a Tuesday, Crime and thrillers on a Wednesday somewhere else, biographies on a get the idea.
We have local authors who are interested in this too and we're hoping that we'll be able to offer the good people of Crouch End pop-up book signings and talks too.
There's so many other possibilities for this project and we're really excited to be involved with it.
It will kick off here.
If you're around please come and say hello. The bookshop will be looked after by Robin (or @raliel if you're on twitter), who some people may know as the Crouch End pirate, although I must stress that he is not a pirate, he dresses as an 18th century dandy. For more information about this you can check out the website here or maybe you'd like to know more about the Unlibrary, who are a very very interesting thing indeed. Check them out here.


We climbed 2% in the last couple of days. It's steady progress and it still means that we're getting new cuastmers into the bookshop who want to help us out, which is all we can ask for. Our target is certainly achievable still and we're working hard to keep this little old bookshop buzzing.
Thanks for reading this and please share it with any people you think may be interested.

1 comment:

Anwen said...

The anagram round is GREAT (because I am good at anagrams) but I think this week's was a bit too broad (because I didn't do as well as last time at the anagrams...) Maybe 'horror authors, books or characters' or 'books' rather than 'ALL THE THINGS'? But it was excellent fun which is the POINT (and I am not just bitter because if I'd got a few more anagrams we'd have won!)