Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #14: The Bookshop, New Delhi, India

On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about the wonderful:

The Bookshop, New Delhi, India


I had a chat with the brilliant Rachna, who runs it. 

Hi Rachna! Where can we find you?

Right beside the magnificent 15th century tombs of the Lodi sultans in Lodi Gardens, but here’s an address:

The Bookshop
13/7 Jorbagh Market
New Delhi 110003
India

# 011 24697102 thebookshop@hotmail.com


Describe your bookshop in three words.

Literary, Friendly, Community-Hub

What’s going to catch our eye as soon as we walk through the door?

It’s a small shop, so it’s like walking into a cave of literary treasure. Everywhere you look there is scintillating literature from India and the world.


What’s the best event you’ve ever done?

We launched Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children in Delhi before he became a world-renowned literary figure.


And your best customer moment?

When Gabriel Garcia Marquez visited Delhi, he strolled into The Bookshop and spent an afternoon there, browsing and chatting with the founder of the store, KD Singh. The next day he said in a newspaper interview that it was one of the highlights of his visit to the city.


Recommend a book you’ve been loving recently.

How is one even possible, so here are three. Passion Flower, by Cyrus Mistry / The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker/ My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff


Why did you become a bookseller?

My parents started The Bookshop because my father was always a bit of a maverick and decided that rather than go into the family business he would follow his passion for literature and start a bookstore that would stock literary fiction and quality non-fiction. I grew up in this environment and decided that there was nothing else I would rather do than work with superb books.


Why are you still a bookseller?

Because working with books is the only thing that interests me. In addition to being a bookseller, I also run a major literature festival and am associated with a publishing company—so books are my universe.


If you could open a bookshop anywhere else in the world, where would you open it and why?

New York-quite simply this has to do with the buzz I experience every time I’m in an iconic indie in that city


Sum up what books and bookshops mean to you in one sentence.

Life itself.

---

Details of The Bookshop Book are 
here. You can pre-order signed copies (shipping worldwide) here

Monday, 15 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #13: Niche Comics

On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about the, quite frankly brilliant:

Niche Comics, Huntingdon, UK



I'm going to hand you over to Angela, to tell you all about it.

"Hello Jen!

"I wanted to tell you about our bookshop – set up to give two lads with Asperger’s Syndrome a satisfying experience of work, where they could engage with customers and manage their own workplace.

"Both my sons - Adam and Guy - had Statements and excellent Learning Support at School, then Adam went on to get a degree in Philosophy and his career prospects seemed limited to casual work and I expect if public sector administration jobs were still around he would be well set up.

"Adam suggested a comic shop and we laughed out loud then looked into the options and realised that really it is a community in itself, with all indies supporting each other. The shop they're now in happened to come up on the market, and with a legacy from grandma it took off. They had the support of a business link advisor and some friends of the family who ran their own businesses. That lasted about a year whilst the shop was renovated (Guy did a lot of the labouring himself!) and they went on lots of courses and workshops run by Business Link and HMRC etc.

"So the decision to set up in business wasn’t taken lightly. They used their own savings to buy the stock. They are lucky in not having to pay rent and business rates but have managed to stay in the black. They are now into their 3rd year and turning over a profit, as well as loving what they do with a growing customer base.

"The bookshop sells new comics, books including lots of graphic novels, table top games and Games Workshop. The shop was originally built in 1573 so has all the charm of a Tudor shop with its timber frame and original features still very much in evidence.

"Adam and Guy do all the orders, finances and running the shop themselves, with a bit of help on the social media and events side. They get groups from the local special needs school and Mencap home coming regularly as well as links with the local schools who buy books and events such as World Book Day.

"Many customers are local and cover all ages. The shop was designed to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone in the community.

"It's so good to see a business run by young people putting their stamp on their community, enjoying and sharing their passion for books and reading."

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #12: Travel Bookshop, Notting Hill

I hope you're all having a lovely Sunday! I though today, for #bookshopaday, we could sit back and relax, and relive this clip from Notting Hill. It never ceases to amuse me that Dylan Moran appears here as an annoying customer, and then went on to do Black Books...


And a related 'Weird Thing...' that happened once in our bookshop:

Customer: This is the bookshop from the film Notting Hill, isn’t it?
Bookseller: No, I’m afraid it’s isn’t. 
Customer: It is. It looks exactly the same!
Bookseller: Well, not really. The bookshop in Notting Hill is a travel bookshop. Also, it’s in Notting Hill - the place.
Customer: You have a travel section, though.
Bookseller: ...Yes.
Customer: Are you not allowed to tell me that this bookshop is the one from the film, is that it?
Bookseller: ...We are not the bookshop from the film. 
Customer: Oh (winks). I see, I get it; you’re not allowed to say. It’s because you know Hugh Grant, right?
Bookseller: ...No. And Hugh Grant doesn’t actually work in that bookshop; that was just for the film. 
Customer: Aha! So you do know Hugh Grant!
Bookseller: No, I... 
Customer: Is he here? Is he in the back room?
Bookseller: What? No!
Customer: It’s ok, don’t worry; I won’t tell a soul. 

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #11: Uppercase Bookshop, Washington

On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about:

Uppercase Bookshop, Washington


I had a chat with Leah who runs it. 

Hi Leah! Where can we find you?

Near Seattle, WA USA in Snohomish

Describe your bookshop in three words. 

Whimsical, diverse, surprising

What’s going to catch our eye as soon as we walk through the door? 

The clocks on the wall telling time in different fantastic lands i.e. Hobbiton, Hogsmeade, Oz

What’s the best event you’ve ever done? 

Edgar Allen Poe Reading at Halloween, with the lights out and candles lit.

And your best customer moment? 

Anytime a customer comes back to tell us they loved one of our recommendations

Recommend a book you’ve been loving recently 

The Luminaries

Why did you become a bookseller? 

We wanted our town to keep its bookshop

Why are you still a bookseller? 

We still want our town to keep its bookshop

If you could open a bookshop anywhere else in the world, where would you open it and why? 

London. Because London.

Sum up what books and bookshops mean to you in one sentence.  

The entire human experience can be found in a good bookshop. Books are the gift of incredible perspective.


"A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic." Carl Sagan

Friday, 12 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #10: Liberties Press Bookshop, Dublin


On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about:

Liberties Press Bookshop, Dublin



A fab bookshop in Ireland. I spoke to Chris, who works there. :)

Hi Chris! Where can we find you?

We are based in South Dublin near Terenure village’s busy crossroads. ‘Liberties Upstairs’ nestles between Cronin’s accountants and O’Toole’s butchers with Perceptions hairdressers below us. Look out for the ‘A’ board featuring our latest titles outside the street door. Just walk up the stairs and we’re straight ahead!


Describe your bookshop in three words. 

Niche, bijou, artn‘crafty.


What's going to catch our eye as soon as you walk through the door?

As you walk through the door, you will immediately spot Mary Kenny’s be-hatted cover portrait in the middle of the biography section. To the left and behind, you would catch a splash of red our display table (Becoming Mum by Kate Carbery) and over to your right side you’ll see the gold of our wonderful Patrick Scott book which is complemented by the gold threads in Áine O’Connor’s multimedia pieces.


What's the best event you've ever done?

That’s a bit tricky, but I would have to plump for our poetry event which combined the Dublin launch of Moyra Donaldson’s The Goose Tree with readings from her work and from Gabriel Fitzmaurice who launched Moyra’s book. It was lovely to have two such talented poets reading at one event. We had a very sociable evening and nobody seemed to want to go home afterwards (though nobody stayed long enough to wash-up).


And your favourite customer moment?

I’m going to choose a moment from the event that I mentioned above. One of the attendees came early and bought a couple of books but said that he had to leave early to get to the theatre. Later in the evening I asked him what time he had to leave and he said ‘Oh, I can go to the theatre anytime, but this is not to be missed’. You couldn’t get a better complement.   


Recommend a book you've been loving recently. 

This is cheating a little here but I’m offering two books. A Liberties Press recommendation is Daniel Seery’s A Model Partner about Tom, who comes up with an imaginative way to find love and is sad and funny in equal measure. My other choice is one of my recent second hand book bargains, The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain (Gallic Books). I was caught by the strap line that asked ‘could a felt hat have the power to change lives?’ The hat in question belonged to François Mitterand and you’ll have to read the book to find out. 


Why did you become a bookseller?

The literal answer is that one day several years ago, I was browsing with my sister in a new bookshop in Birmingham. As we were wandering around we eavesdropped on a couple of customer enquiries to which the assistant didn’t have answers. I whispered to my sister that I could have answered those, to which she smartly replied ‘Well, write in for a job then’. So I did and the rest as they say is history.  


Why are you still a bookseller?

I’m still bookselling; though now in Dublin and not Birmingham because I can’t imagine doing a job that doesn’t involve working with books. And I quite like people too.  I’ll know when it’s time to quit when I can walk into another bookshop and not feel the urge to straighten the shelves, put a book back in the correct section, or to answer overheard customer queries.


If you could open a bookshop anywhere else in the world, where would you open one and why?

After pondering the question of location, I think I would have to say York; to be specific I would like to have a bookshop in the Shambles. It’s been a while since I was in York so I don’t know if there is one in that historic street at the moment. 


Sum up what bookshops mean to you. 


Bookshops mean access to freedom, ideas and thoughts. I can get to places that I’d never otherwise visit and meet people from many places and centuries that I would never meet except between the pages of a book. 

--

Details of The Bookshop Book are 
here. You can pre-order signed copies (shipping worldwide) here

The Bookshop Book poster

Booksellers! Little, Brown have made a wonderful poster for The Bookshop Book declaring our love for bookshops. If you'd like one or two, you can order the poster from LBS, using the ISBN 9780748137985. Contact details are below :) xx



Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, Faraday Close, Durrington, West Sussex BN13 3RB
Tel 01903 828511 (telephone order lines open until 6.00pm) fax 01903 828801 Email: orders@lbsltd.co.uk

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #9: The Odyssey Bookshop, USA

On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about:

The Odyssey Bookshop, MA, USA


I had a chat with their manager, Emily. 

Where can we find you? 

In the small town of South Hadley, MA (USA), across the street from Mount Holyoke College. Also online at www.odysseybks.com

Describe your bookshop in three words. 

Traditional yet playful


What’s going to catch our eye as soon as we walk through the door? 

Our colourful displays of upcoming author event books (and just-signed-recently books).


What’s the best event you’ve ever done? 

We host around 125 events every year, so it’s difficult to choose, but a few that really stand out are Stephen King, Rachel Maddow, Holly Black, Junot Diaz, Helen Oyeyemi, Graeme Simsion, and Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland).


And your best customer moment? 

Every time a child tells me that they never thought they would enjoy reading until they read a book that I recommended.


Recommend a book you’ve been loving recently. 

Ruby by Cynthia Bond. It’s perhaps the most outstanding debut novel I’ve ever read. Think Toni Morrison by way of all of the great Southern writers who know that there’s no place like, or more complicated than, home.


Why did you become a bookseller? 

To make millions of dollars. Obviously.


Why are you still a bookseller?

Because there is nothing, and I mean nothing, more rewarding than being told that a book I’ve suggested to somebody has changed their life. Being a bookseller also practically guarantees that I’m going to have amazing and wonderful and quirky people surrounding me all day long.


If you could open a bookshop anywhere else in the world, where would you open it and why? 

The island of Anguilla in the Caribbean, because that place has become my heart-home over the years.


Sum up what books and bookshops mean to you in one sentence. 

Well, don’t ask for much, do you? Okay: Books and bookshops might be the most important things ever because they mark the cultural crossroads of knowledge and community.

--
Details of The Bookshop Book are here. You can pre-order signed copies (shipping worldwide) here