Thursday, 24 July 2014

The 'Weird Things...' Read-Along Book Club

As we're all book-lovers here, I suggested the idea of a 'Weird Things...' Read-Along Book Club over on the 'Weird Things...' Facebook page. I suggested that once a month I could nominate a book and those who want to join in can read it with me, and we can chat about it.

I was pretty overwhelmed with the response - over 300 of you want to join in!

So, I thought I'd post about it here, on my blog, in case you want to get involved:

1. At the beginning of the month I will post a photo of the book we will be reading on the Facebook page, and we can discuss the book in the comments WITHOUT spoilers.

2. I will also set up a Note on the page for the book, where people can comment once they have finished the book, where there can be spoilers etc freely.

Those who want to take part can do so whenever they like (you don't have to read every book!). It's going to be a very laid back affair. (If the Book Club turns out to be rather large, we can think about setting up a separate Facebook group for it, but let's see how we get on first. :))

So, if you'd like to come and join in, please do!

If you'd like to receive an email once a month letting you know what book we're going to be reading, please drop me an email: The first email will go out at the beginning of next week. I'm excited. 

Hurray for books!

Alice in Wonderland collection

Those of you who have been here a while know that my favourite book is Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Quite a few people on the 'Weird Things...' Facebook page were asking to see photos of my Alice collection. So here are some of them, below.

Through the Looking Glass - illustrated by John Tenniel. A Puffin Story Book. 1954

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - illustrated by John Tenniel. Puffin 1968. 

A couple of later Penguin editions

Alice's Adventures Underground, a facsimile of the 1864 manuscript with illustrations by Carroll himself. 

The Yayoi Kusama illustrated edition from 2012

The Tove Jansson illustrated edition. 

An Arthur Rackham

A 1949 1st of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass illustrated by Leonard Weisgard

A 1921 John Tenniel edition published by Macmillan.

& I have a few others, which are back up north (I really should move all my books out of my mum's attic...) including the Ralph Steadman edition, a Mervyn Peake and the lovely Helen Oxenbury edition of Alice. 

Which are your favourites? Do you collect different editions of certain books yourself? xx

Thursday, 17 July 2014

red pens at the ready

This beast just landed on my desk.

Let the proofreading begin!


Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Calling Booksellers and Bookshop-Lovers Everywhere!

Hello lovely booksellers, and bookshop-loving folk.

It's now twelve weeks until the release of The Bookshop Book! (Twelve weeks!) And to celebrate all things bookshop-wise, I'm calling out to booksellers AND bookshop-lovers about these two things below:

1. I'm going to be doing 'A Bookshop a Day' blog posts all through September and the beginning of October. Each day I'll write about a different bookshop somewhere in the world (a bit like the Bookshop Spotlights I did a while back). So, if you are a bookseller who'd like your bookshop featured (or you're a bookshop-lover who wants to chat about your favourite bookshop), please drop me an email, saying 'Me, please!' :)

2. I'm going to be doing lots of events for The Bookshop Book throughout October, November and December here, there and everywhere. If you would like me to come and do an event at your bookshop, please drop me a line: I'm all yours :)

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

“A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.”

For those of you wondering what our bookshop, Ripping Yarns, home of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' looks like...

(click images to see full-size)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops... AN UPDATE

Folks! It's been two years (two years!!) since the release of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' and a year since the release of its sequel 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.' Time flies, and all that jazz.

Y'all have been messaging me, asking if people still stay crazy things in our bookshop. Well, yes. Yes, they do...

Man (walks through the door): Hi, where's the nearest secondhand bookshop?
Me: You're in it.
Man: No - I'm looking for a different one.

Creepy customer: I've always had this fantasy about having sex with a bookseller... Would you shelve that under fact or fiction?

Customer: I'm looking for that book, you know, the one that sounds like it should be a dinosaur.
Me: .... A Thesaurus?
Customer: That's the one!

Customer: You know how they say reading's good for you?
Me: Yeah.
Customer: I'm not sure that's true, you know.
Me: Oh?
Customer: Yeah. I read an article on it somewhere. It was interesting. I should probably read more about it.

Customer (to her friend): I think I might get this book, it looks rather good. (She begins flicking through it and reading random passages to herself.)
*a few minutes later*
Customer: Oh no! A character dies, here, look, on page 212. I don't think I want to read it now that I know that. (She turns to me.) You should put a warning on the cover or something to tell people not to look at certain pages. Y'know for spoilers and stuff.

Overheard five year old twins having a chat:
Girl: What's the difference between Coke and Pepsi?
Boy: Well, DUH. One is red and one is blue.

Male Customer: I don't really understand why women write novels... Do you? What are they trying to achieve? I don't read them. I mean, I understand why women write cookery books, but other than that it all seems a bit silly, right?

Customer (looking around our bookshop): You know, clutter is bad feng shui. This is a lot of books. It'll mess with your qi.
Me: ...

Man: I need a copy of that famous book: 'The Pigeon's Progress.'
Me: ...'The Pilgrim's Progress'?
Man: Oh. Is it not about birds, then?

Customer: I'm looking a book set after Breaking Dawn. I want to know what happens to Bella and Edward.
Me: I'm afraid Stephenie Meyer hasn't written any more Twilight books - apart from the Bree Tanner one.
Customer (looking at me like I'm stupid): Yeah, I know that. I thought someone else might have written it instead.
Me: ...Perhaps you should look at fanfiction online?
Customer (exasperated): No, duh. I WANT A BOOK. 


image image
'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' / 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops.'

The Bookshop Book is out autumn 2014.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

'You know, sir, there are bones in my body that are yet to have names...'

Really pleased to say that my poem girl uncertain won the Sentinel Poetry Competition. :)

Here's an audio of me reading the poem.
(If you are viewing this blog post in an email, click here to listen.)