Books & Stuff, Shops Doing Well, Superheroes and More

Books & Stuff, Shops Doing Well, Superheroes and More UK Booksellers Association Cites Third Year of Gains in Stores The trade association for the UKs booksellers says that following 20 years of decline, its membership counts 890 member-stores. n an announcement today (January 10) from their offices in Londons Bell Yard, the Booksellers Association reports … Read more

The Joy of Cookbooks

I’m into porn. Cookbook porn. It’s a terrible habit. I have the basics: Betty, Julia, Fanny. I have the stuff that’s a little off: Nigella, Bobby, even a Canadian named Laura. Then there are the extremes: Silver Palate, Babycakes, Death By Chocolate. It’s a guilty pleasure. I savor each cookbook as it arrives in the … Read more

The Best Cookbooks to Consider Stocking

Recently, I found something interesting in a box of old books, which started me thinking about something new: cookbooks. I have been ignorant of cookbooks my whole life, treating them with an attitude similar to how I view my chainsaw instruction manual. But as a bookseller, I have quickly learned that, for many people, cookbooks … Read more

Gifts of the Earth: Vegan and Vegetarian Cookbooks

by Jas Faulkner

A quick note here, since I have received some questions about this: It’s no accident that many of the books on these lists are older. My purpose is twofold.  I want to point readers to books they might have missed and booksellers, especially resellers, to books that might move off the display table .  The genres I’ve chosen are those I read, enjoy and refer to fairly frequently. 

Before we take a look at this week’s list, let’s consider the supposed audience for vegan and vegetarian cookbooks.  People who choose to live exclusively on plant-based nutrition have gotten a bad rap over the last half-century.  They are the target of ridicule by celebrity chefs like Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey and in day to day life they have to dodge and weave around the stereotypes.

The stereotypes.  Do we even want to go there?  Alas, they do exist, those mental images of underfed, pasty, testy, self-righteous types who glare the plates containing a cut of something that once mooed, baahed, oinked, or clucked.  Those Birkenstock and hemp sock wearing culinary pharisees are enough to scare anyone away from the vegetarian shelves in the cookbook section.  This is a pity, especially when so many otherwise good general cookbooks tend to go light on the sides and veggie main courses unless they’re heavy on the starch, fat, and salt.

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Desperately Seeking Synopsis

It has just occurred to me as I’m typing up my listings (still waiting, waiting, waiting for the website to be finalised) that I seem to spend most of my time searching the internet for book information, more accurately the synopsis. The new fiction books are easy. I usually go directly to fantastic fiction and … Read more

Any problem areas in your bookshop?

Back on Board & Discussing Problem Areas

Well, yes, I’ve been very quiet of late, and I do apologise.  I haven’t even had time to look at The Bookshop Blog for the past month.  We’ve just passed through the busiest time of the year here in town, and now I’m all about replenishing titles at the moment, so it’s back to the hunt for me.  I had some good luck through January, with a couple of good lots come in through the shop, which kept the stock fresh and moving.  I seem to be staying on top of most areas on the whole – there was for a time over November and December I felt I was buying more books than I was selling – but there are sections I struggle to keep up with.

Do other booksellers have these persistent problem areas?

Science Fiction
How do you keep science fiction stocked?  I find that when my science fiction titles sell, they don’t sell one by one, butGun With Music practically by the metre!  And I find it very difficult to source ‘fresh’ sci-fi/fantasy titles.  Does anyone have a practical suggestion for an Australian bookseller?  I heard from another bookseller the other day that she had a competitor in her shop (and there is an unwritten bookseller’s ‘code’ that we sell books to one another at 10% off) trying to purchase her collection of Dr Who novels.  She actually refused the other bookseller, on the grounds that they are hard to find, hard to keep on the shelf, and to sell them for 10% off when she could easily sell them to the summer tourists would seem like a poor business decision!

Science fiction/fantasy readers seem to collect and continue collecting.  They don’t seem to trade their books in, or sell them.  I assume there are plenty of bookshops out there who simply don’t stock sci-fi/fantasy, but I feel that as this is often an adolescent market I’d like to keep the genre, in the hope that I’m encouraging younger folk in.

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