Saturday, August 06, 2011

Catch Up

Here's a list of things that have happened recently. This blogpost is a precursor to more regular posts in future.
  • I cycled 120 miles to Dunwich from Hackney overnight on July 17th/18th. This is what it was all about. Despite forecasts of thunderstorms and gales, an hour before we left peace descended and the weather for the whole journey was wonderful. It was one of the most memorable expereinces of my life and i'm currently looking for other similar bike rides that I can get involved with. So far we've raised about £400 for local schools, but the schools themselves are also raising money, so I won't know the final figure until September, when they come back from their holidays. Many many thanks to Azeem, who was my inspiration for this. He is a lovely lovely person.  
  • It was my birthday last week.
  • The local market was a big success at the bookshop. We aim to have a regular market in the bookshop, where people can come along and set up a stall selling stuff that's locally produced or made. We had six stalls, selling necklaces & bracelets, knitted stuff, Tottenham Honey, plums and berries, plants, cakes (and cupcakes). Next month (August 21st) we intend it to be bigger and we already have jam in production, a local artist who's interested in coming along and a lot more produce. If you know someone who'd like a stall, no matter how big or small, let me know. The stalls are free.  Check out the event page on the website for more news.
  • We're teasing with the idea of selling second hand books
  • Our attempt to break the World Record for the largest ever reading group sadly failed. That's the bad news. However the good news is that the systems we set up (the forum and the facebook page) were visited, and discussions took place. I have learned lessons from this. Firstly, I need to give myself more time to organise things. Secondly, I need to be less of a control freak, and accept all the offers of support and help I had to get this working. The book we discussed, Where Would I Be Without You by Guillaume Musso, got mixed reviews as we expected. It is a translated novel, and is part romance, part thriller and part paranormal. We chose it, as it is a pretty easy read, very accessible and there'd be lots to discuss. We asked everyone involved to give it a score out of ten and of the 31 people who replied, the average score was 5.6. Not to bad. We'll be doing this again next year, but we'll be giving ourselves a lot more time to organise it and i'll get a lot more help.
  • We had a rodent in the shop. We don't any more.
  • Our computer collapsed recently. Very badly. This meant that we couldn't send out our newsletter and we lost some very important documents. A nasty virus ate our backup (i don't know what any of that means). Anyway, a lovely person called Suze has given us her old laptop, so we can now send out the emails again. We still need to keep our old computer, as it has our stock control system on it and lots of other dreamy things. It stops working every 3 hours. This isn't much fun. This story isn't going anywhere. These are the facts though. 
  • I have tried Blackcurrant Lucozade and I deem it GOOD.
  • The Booker Prize longlist has been announced. This year there are some PAPERBACKS in the list! That means that people might be able to afford to buy them. That's much more inclusive. Well done. Oh hang on, 2 of them weren't actually published when the longlist was announced. So NOBODY, except those of us lucky enough to be in the book trade who occassionaly get books early, are able to read them. As you were. 
There we go. 

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