Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How Exciting!!

This has just arrived.
Sarah's previous book The Riddle of the Poisoned Monk is our bestselling kid's book, and deservedly so. I couldn't put it down. A great story, fast paced, funny, educational (in a good way), gory, magical and suitable for children from 8 to 80.

Like a regular non bookshop person, I've patiently waited for the paperback to come out before reading it (I don't like hardback fiction, I think in most cases it's not necessary to publish hardback fiction), and so we've already sold one!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bank Holiday Bookselling.

It's a lovely Monday morning and the clouds in the sky mask the glorious sunshine being enjoyed by passengers in aeroplanes.
So far today, we've sold The Book Thief, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, The End of Mr Y, A GI Joe Graphic Novel, The Golden Notebook, A Barefoot Doctor book, a couple of walking Guides to Wood Green, and a few other choice items.
A local 'character' just walked past, poked his head aroud the door and said ' Si, how is it possible to murder someone who died a year before you were born?', stared and then strolled off.
I've completed a lovely large school order that we got a couple of weeks ago, and i'm about to embark on writing our new regular feature for the Middlesex University Magazine, and am pondering on whether to review Bill Drummond's new tome.
I've sent off a design for our soon to be introduced kids loyalty cards, which hopefully will come back a lot better than my feeble efforts.
I'm making up some posters to stick in the window telling all and sundry that we have Constance Briscoe coming in October, and that they should all be very pleased about it.
I've re alphabetasized the kid's picture books (always a treat) and they now look lovely again.
A customer has just come in and bought 2 of those gorgeous Penguin Great Ideas series, and a book by George R R Martin. That was nice of them, i'll have to order up on the Great Ideas series 'cos we've sold plenty. Especially the Books Vs Cigarettes one by George Orwell.

1.30pm Kafka on the Shore sold, and a man with hair styled in a desperate attempt to look like Russell Brand just walked past the shop. He looked more like Russell Harty.

2.30 I'm getting distracted by books (and ebay), and i'm miffed that i've sold out Stephenie Meyer's backlist. Something else to add to the list.

3.00 Miss Pettigrew, you certainly are popular today. That's the 3rd one.

3.10 Katie comes in with Freya (and some cheese and cucumber sandwiches). Both Freya and Katie look very pretty and i'm very happy.

3.40 Richard Hammond and katie Price come in and I bang their heads together and tell them to think about what they're doing. They look confused, and then it dawns on me that I just made it all up, so I make a cup of coffee.

3.50 Let a couple of people know that we can get some Out of Print books that they're looking for. Ah, the Out of Print booksearch. A thing of magic.....

4.15 Katie and Freya go to Holland and Barrett, and then home. Pie for tea tonight. Some vampire horror is purchased, as is a copy of Gods Behaving Badly.

4.25 Someone returns a copy of the power of positive thinking. It obviously worked if she doesn't want it any more.

5.10 Make a couple of posters for the Andrew Clover event, and email them so I can print them on my colour printer at home.

5.30 Look like all the other shops in Wood Green are closing, as a few 'newbie' customers come into the shop saying things like 'I didn't know you were here', and 'how long have you been here?'. They leave with amongst other things, The Freedom Writers Diary, some Louise Rennison and the humourously acceptable chick lit that is Sophie Kinsella. Shopaholics indeed...

6.00 Time to cash up and go home for pie. It was well worth opening, and it's surprising what you can get done when you put your mind to it.

Tomorrow there's lots of calls to make to publishers and customers, but until then, adieu.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

Get Your Roksoph

On Friday, the Big Green Bookshop turned into an art gallery. Oh yes indeed. Our cultural boundaries stretched to new wotsits, as fantastic local artist Rosie Roksoph exhibited her work in the shop.

This is Rosie and a picture entitled 'Bobbie and Arif' SOLD

The evening was great fun and it introduced new people to the shop, and also we sold 3 paintings as well.

We're keeping Rosie's work up in the shop for a few weeks, and hopefully it'll sell through. It makes the shop look prettier too.
Postcards of some of her work are also available at the very reasonable price of £1 a pop.

We'll be making this available online when I can work out how, so although the sun always shines in Wood Green (except when we have a barbecue and Levi Roots comes to the shop), you don't even have to visit to get some of this great stuff.

Our events programme is building up nicely and here's a little rundown of what we have in the next few weeks;

This Thursday 26th Sophie Hannah reading and answering questions about her awesome new paperback thriller Point of Rescue.

Thursday September 4th. Launch of local author Ellen Johnson's new book Bahamian Breeze

Friday September 5th. Nettle Press join us for our monthly celebration of local poetry

Saturday September 6th. Gold Dust Magazine are 4 years old and we have an evening of music, poetry and drama (Tim might get his geeetar out if we give him enough wine).

Wednesday September 10th. Stand Up, writer, actor and all round good egg Andrew Clover wil be bringing his Edinburgh Festival show to the shop and selling copies of his brilliant book 'Dad Rules'. It should be a hoot.

Tuesday September 23rd SOLD OUT. Bill Drummond. Nuff said. I'm quite excited about this....

Thursday October 9th. Burlesque Against Breast Cancer. A benefit for this charity and also a cracking evening of adult entertainment.

Thursday October 17th. Just announced. Constance Briscoe will be reading from her new in paperback bestseller 'Beyond Ugly' and answering questions.

There's lots more on the horizon, but if you want to come to any of these just let us know!
This is how Freya reacted when I told her she couldn't come and see Bill Drummond because all the tickets had sold out......she might have just weed herself as well.....

Tim's on holiday until September, so i'm in the middle of a 13 day stretch at the moment, so if I get delirious over the next few days you'll understand.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bookseller Olympics

As the British team storm to victory in all the events involving sitting down (cycling, sailing, rowing), and with 2012 (or 2202112 in ternary) approaching, we in Wood Green are developing olympic sports that the book trade would storm to victory.

can I stress that here at the Big Green Bookshop we don't condone any of these events.

Heavyweight Boxing (of returns)- ideally post xmas, and a particularly strong event for the chain stores.

Wrestling (for extra discount) - a particular strength for the smaller business.

Wastepaper Basketball - the real stars of this event can throw a subsheet/new title AI/publishers catalogue from 20 feet.

100 metres sprint to catch the little bastard who just nicked that copy of Iron Man.

400 metres sprint to catch the little bastard who nicked the pile of A-Zs

Cycling- for London 2012 this sport would especially suit the poorly paid bookseller who can't afford public transport, and also appreciates the hangover curing properties of cycling early in the morning.

Rowing -(pronounced like vowing) with the bloke who's playing crappy music really really loud from his car stereo immediately outside the shop.

Wrestling - with the concept that Jordan/Colleen/Keri/and any twat from a reality TV programme is being given money by a shortsighted and frankly stupid publisher to write a book, which will do no-one (that's right, no one) any long term benefit whatsoever.

Diving - into the biscuit tin to get the last bourbon

Pen-tathalon - in bookselling terms this is the search for the pen that always seems to disappear that was on the desk the minute before.

Marathon - the three month subscription. This usually involves 2 cups of coffee and the ability to say 'no, it's not really us' at least 30 times in a row.

The relay- taking it in turns with that regular customer who spend at least 4 hours a week in the shop and never buys anything, but always thinks they're doing you a favour by coming in.

Oh yes, this is comedy gold isn't it.....

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's A Ridiculous Big Green Bookshop Competition. Hurrah!!!!

We've noticed that us acting like tools seems to endear us to you, and as usual we're happy to oblige. So for your amusement and because today was a bit quiet, we proudly announce the Big Green Bookshop 'Name that Book' Competition.

Tim and I have acted out 6 book titles and all you have to do is guess what they are. As an example here's an example of what you have to expect.....
Can you see what the title is????

It's 'Kafka on the Shore'.

do you see

do you get it

do you want to play our stupid purile game?


question number 1. On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 1 being easy) this is about 3.

so here's number 2. . Clue. A classic children's book....

Question 3. Clue. What the I doing?

Question 4.. Clue. This is a bit fishy...

Question 5. . Clue. He also wrote ......... homesick blues

Question 6.. Clue. A venice Cocktail.

So there it is.

Try and guess all 1-6, and if you do well we might give prizes (or maybe not).

Here's a picture of Freya

Friday, August 15, 2008

Football and Comics and MUD


It's already started. The Football season that is. Last Saturday at 3.00pm in Blackpool to be precise. And at about 4.52pm last Saturday I was reminded why this is going to be a long and exciting season.
Bristol City substitute Steve Brooker cooly stroked in an injury time winner which means we're level top on points with 1 game gone. Derby County next.

I've done my fantasy football team. It (staggeringly) includes Jimmy Bullard. Mr Crockatt will be proud of me.

I've also done my predictions at Mr Ladbrokes for the winner of each division.


we'll see how woefully wrong I am in a few months no doubt.


Having sold all my comics (I had about 1500 and I thought I'd had enough of them, so off they went), I'm having a bit of a rethink. There's one series that I really really miss and so i've decided to re-collect them. I suspect i'm slightly autistic (but blokes have that tendency don't they).
The series in question was the first ever Marvel series that was created by Stan 'the man' Lee and brought to life by Jack 'King' Kirby. We're talking, as if I need to tell you, about the Fantastic Four. The world's greatest comic magazine.
This was the first comic to give the central characters flaws and personalities (The Thing spends most of the series trying to not be a superhero), and we can even feel sorry for some of the villains (The Mole Man, The Puppet Master and even Galactus), and so i'm now probably going to spend the next 3 years building up this series again. And then there's thr crossover issues and the stand alone series, like the Thing, a 36 comic series which has Ben Grimm (The Thing) become a wrestler!

If anyone finds a copy of this or any of the other 600 odd FF comics i'll be happy to take them off your hands for a fair price.


this stands for the Middlesex University Direct, and it's a monthly mag that goes to all the students, lecturers and employees of Middlesex University (our closest campus). Anyway they've asked us to do a monthly column, talking about books, what's going on in the shop, and stuff like that (not about football or Boris Johnson or inflatable trousers). We've said that we'll send them 2 or 3 new books to read and review each month, and we'll cover the other page and a half. So, i'm appealing to any publishers/reps/authors out there who think that they have a book that would be suitable for an audience of around 10,000 students to let me know. It's a very well read mag and it can't do any harm. We might even sell some copies off the back of it. I guess that's what we all want isn't it.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Levi Roots


Levi Roots. He's a nice man.
He came to the shop on Saturday. This is how we advertised it on Gumtree, and on the Facebook Group, and on the Time Out website, and on our newsletter that we send to our mailing list, and on lecturelist.

This is going to be fun! The Dragon slayer Levi Roots will be joining us at the Big Green Bookshop on Saturday August 9th at 2pm to celebrate with us and sign copies of his fantastic 'Reggae Reggae Cookbook'.
If the weather is good, we'll be having a barbecue from around 1pm and we're hoping to make it a carnival atmosphere in Brampton Park Road, so there'll be loads of stuff happening with a bit of luck.
More news as we make it.
We're just too good to you....

here's a poster which appeared in various haunts around Wood Green

We had a window in for 4 weeks advertising it.

We'd arranged for a wonderful msician to play and we'd arranged a barbecue outside the shop which a chef from a local cafe loked after. We'd put together a great menu, including jerk chicken and reggae reggae burgers, and we'd chosen traditionaly one of the hottest weekends of the year.

It pissed down

But Levi was lovely and despite Wood Green deciding to stay indoors in the dry, he stuck around and met the people that braved it out.

The barbie was still great, and the biggest news of the day was that Andrew, one of our 'regular' customers put his hand in his pockets for the first time since we opened to buy not one, but two helpings of jerk chicken.

The musician S Calli also performed and was brilliant. He's standing in what was our car park, next to the shop, which we've turned intoan outdoor oasis, that people can sit and enjoy the wonderful cosmopolitan atmosphere of Wood Green.

More of S Calli here

but it pissed down.

Which was a shame

and didn't help.

Anyway, onwards and upwards.

We have a new thing on the right of the blog, which lists our events. Hope you like it.

The Bill Drummond event is now fully booked and we've sold all 50 tickets. We might see if we can squeeze in another dozen or so peolple, but i'm really looking forward to it.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Please Help This Bookshop

Don't just read this, you can actually help!


You have lots of alternatives
a. Read it and cock your head to one side and think,'oh that's a shame'.
b. Think to yourself 'yes I really ought to do something', and then carry on with life.
c. Not click on the link and therefore know nothing about what i'm typing about.
d. Donate some money, in the knowledge that you're doing it for no personal gain, ie
no one but you will know about it (you don't get a badge, or a cerificate, and Bob Geldof doesn't come round to your house to kiss your children). It's known as a random act of kindness, and if you do it you're likely to live for at least 6 days longer than you would if you didn't.
e. Be offended by me writing this thinking to yourself 'what right has he got to say that the cheeky little punter'
f. Donate some money and tell everyone in the hope that they do it also
g. wonder when this blog's going to get a bit know, like the old days.

I suggest d or f, and in response to g. things will improve very very soon.

my birthday cake is now stale.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Event Happening Soon


Bill Drummond is coming on September 23rd

Bill Drummond is coming on September 23rd

Bill Drummond is coming on September 23rd

Bill Drummond is coming on September 23rd

tickets going fast

Friday, August 01, 2008

My Bonus


well done Gerry Johnson. I got one too. Not as much as Gezza's, but then again I was only at W for 4 months in the last financial year, so it ain't that surprising. I'm going to spend mine on next month's council tax, a plumber, and a might stick a bit in the bank. If you've got any spare Gerry, there's a 'donate' button a bit further down on this blog ( I promise i'll let everyone know if you stick a few quid in). Thanks in advance.

The new Murakami came in today. It's called 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running,. It's so preeeety and I can't beleive Haruki isn't coming over to the shop to sign it. He knows we all want him to the lazy so and so. Here's a wonderful passage from the book, and here's the wonderful UK cover.

naaah, I'm only joshin wiv ya, here it is....

Also, here's the new Chuck Palaneeeoook. It's called Snuff, and it's another gorgeous piece of filth, from the master. It's beautifully packaged, and only £12.99.

we also got the new McSweeney's today. Now here's a beautiful thing. The production value of it is spectacular. It's slipcased with 3 inserts. One booklet with sketches from Art Spiegelman (maus), another booklet with cartoons from David Shrigley, and the main booklet has contributions from Stephen King, Jim Shepard, Jeffrey Brown and many others. Twenty quid and it's yours.
Not a great picture of the book, but these 3 books alone suggest that anyone who simply thinks that books can be translated electronically onto rubbish like this or this (this is an 'espresso book machine!!), are wrong.

Books are beautiful and tactile and special and not to be messed with. Call me a luddite, but the joy you get from sitting in a park/bus/beach with a book, being able to enter your own world of magic, turning over the corner of a page, breaking the spine, flicking the pages is unique. The feel of the paper, the way you hold a book, the joy of finding something on the shelves, reading the back of the book, taking a punt on a new author, finding something unexpected, judging a book by it's cover.

There are a million reasons why books are books and will always be books. I suspect that reference/cookery etc may be something that an e-book may be useful for, but a bookshop is like an aladins cave (if it's any good), and imagine how miserable it would be if the book ceased to be?

I go bed now. I tired. I sleep.