Tuesday, 30 August 2011
Congratulations to our friends at Brick Lane Bookshop, formerly Eastside, on its new makeover physically and online (at http://www.bricklanebookshop.com/). The new look and name make much more sense in the heartland of trendiness that is the modern Brick Lane. Anyone visiting would also be advised to go to the end of the Lane - fighting your way through jugglers, fly-pitchers and crowds - to the bagel bakeries. The Brick Lane shop is particularly good on East End history, carrying most of our books in that field, and will of course be stocking our Cable Street books. It seems a long way from the old THAP bookshop of 30 years ago - in pre-Eastside days.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Meanwhile, the number of people doing creative writing classes proliferates. Who is going to publish them? Who will sell their books?
Wednesday, 24 August 2011
Thursday, 18 August 2011
Monday, 15 August 2011
Sunday, 14 August 2011
Five Leaves' f0llowers might recall an earlier announcement that we would be publishing a book of fiction and poems, From Pogrom to Purge, by the murdered writers, edited and mostly translated by Joseph Sherman. This book was near publication when Joseph became very ill and then died, with some minor parts of the translation incomplete. The book was put back, naturally, and for some time I did not have the heart to return to Joseph's book, yet wanted it to appear as a memorial to his scholarship and in memory of the writers. We were planning to finally complete the book this year when we realised that next year is 60th anniversary of the trial and execution, so it made sense to postpone the book yet again, but bring it out for the 60th and organise a suitable event around it. This is acceptable to Joseph's family and we will announce the details of publication in due course. Meantime, apologies to those waiting on the book. I am sure you would agree that it should appear for the 60th anniversary.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Sunday, 7 August 2011
But the main book connection for me was a visit to my old friend David Lane in Bakewell. David was once a stalwart of Nottingham CND, Nottingham Veggie Soc. and an astonishing amount of national organisations concerned with peace and animal rights. He'd cut his teeth as a conscientious objector and as a member of the old Pacifist Youth Action Group. When I moved to Nottingham his Concord Bookshop (one of the astonishing number of five radical bookshops in the city at the time) had just closed. The shop reflected his main concerns but was in the way of developers. David continued his involvement with the book trade wholesaling vegetarian, environment and peace books, mostly to wholefood shops. Though David never made much money (capitalism was never his forte) he did chomp his way through a lot of books and cheap pamphlets, especially at Christmas. I know this as I was a volunteer packer from time to time: anything for a good veggie meal. David would often surprise far flung accounts sending in big orders by turning up the next day with a trolley, having worked out it was cheaper to take the goods by train than use a carrier, giving himself a day out for the hell of it. Even better if he could take in some petitioning or demonstrating while he was at it. Sadly, with the closure of some key accounts and others moving to more commercial suppliers Concord had to close, having a useful half-life selling books at stalls and festivals. It was good to see David again, not least to hear his standard opening remark... "Did you see that article in Saturday's Guardian..."