Tuesday, March 9th 2010 : "On bookshops and libraries"
It's easy to get depressed about the selling of books. With the disappearance of Borders UK, Waterstone's is the only major retailer left on the High Street. Supermarkets sell too but at such a discount that it's hard to understand how the publishers make money, and besides, the range of stock is very limited. It's a delight then to come across a shop where the staff know, understand and love the books on the shelves. Such an establishment is Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court, just off St Martin's Lane in London. David, the owner, has developed a great relationship with publishers and authors. He specializes in hard backed signed copies and he hosted the launch party to celebrate the hard back publication of BLUE LIGHTNING and Martin Edwards' Lake District novel THE SERPENT POOL a month ago. It was a lovely evening and I was pleased that many of our guests raved about the shop and promised to go back and spend time there.
Libraries have taken on the role of guardians of our literary tradition in recent years. They stock the new and the quirky, translated fiction and short stories, the sort of books that don't make the display tables at the front of bookshops. Certainly there's no doubt that I'd be long out of print without library sales to sustain me. Libraries also provide a place where authors can meet their readers. In March thriller writer David Hewson and I made a tour of five of my favourite authorities here in the north east. He was bowled over by the welcome he received, by the professionalism of the staff and the enthusiasm of the readers. It made me realise how lucky I am to live close to so many supportive librarians.
Posted by Ann at 02:08 PM GMT