Saturday, 15 February 2014

The Bookshop Book: Update

Yesterday, as part of my research for The Bookshop Book, I spoke with a man called Sebastien, who runs a small bookshop in the middle of the Mongolian steppe. He bought the bookshop for his wife as a wedding present, and they sell books to herders from the Altai mountains and Gobi desert - how wonderful is that? I am full of bookshop love. (More than usual. If that's at all possible.)

In a completely different part of the world: if you ever find yourself in Seattle, I recommend heading to the Bookstore Bar.

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Signed copies of 'Weird Things...'/'More Weird Things...' 20% Off.

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!

Signed copies of 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' and 'More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' are 20% off this week here on the blog, until Sunday 16th February (RRP £8.99). If you'd like a dedication, as well as a signature, remember to leave a note in the 'Note to Buyer' section at checkout. Shipping is to anywhere in the world; use the drop down box to select the area you want :)

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend! xx

ETA: This offer has now expired. Please click here to purchase signed copies of 'Weird Things...' and 'More Weird Things...'

Thursday, 6 February 2014

'Weird Things....' and Brian Aldiss

Today I interviewed the wonderful Brian Aldiss for 'The Bookshop Book'. Quite possibly the loveliest man ever. He told me about running a bookshop in Oxford after the second world war, and about how strange the customers were. He also told me how Dylan Thomas would run into the shop every week, and ask to borrow money & how Evelyn Waugh was always miserable. Brilliant.

In 'Weird Things...' news, 'Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops' is being translated into Russian! It will be published by an excellent independent bookshop in Moscow called Dodo Magic Bookroom. More information on publication dates later on. 

Speaking of Russia - here's a cool Russian library:

Hope you're all having a fantastic Thursday! x

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Bookshop Book - an update

This week I've visited one of the oldest bookshops in England (they've been selling books since 1729!), and I've had conversations with Tracy Chevalier, Joanne Harris and Rachel Joyce about their love of bookshops. I've talked to booksellers in France, Singapore and India. I've discovered the wonder of The Biblio-Mat in Canada, and I've lusted over a beautiful bookshop in Venice. Lots of exciting things happening with The Bookshop Book. My manuscript deadline is the end of April, and it will be published in October. I can't wait to share it all with you guys! x

(Just a reminder: if you would like to give a shout out to your favourite bookshop, or if you're a bookseller and would like to share some stories for 'The Bookshop Book,' you can drop me an email at

Sunday, 2 February 2014

something to make you giggle

Here's a rather hilarious conversation relayed to me by Benedict at P&G Wells Bookshop. 

Customer: Hi, I'm looking for a book on local psychopaths.
Bookseller: Well, we have a true crime section over here. There are some books on rather gruesome multiple homicides.
(The customer looks confused and worried)
Bookseller: This book here is about a murderer in Gloucestershire. Is that local enough for you?
Customer: No, erm...
Bookseller (holding up a different book): And this one is particularly violent.
Customer: No no no. Stop! I said I wanted a book on local cycle paths. CYCLE PATHS.
Bookseller: ...Oooh... Yeah. We have books on those, too.


On a separate note, I'm thrilled to have placed third in this year's Plough Poetry Prize. You can read my poem, merlasses, over here

Hope you're all having a lovely weekend. x