The Bookshop Blog’s Best of July 2010

Well we put out a call for new writers and boy what a response we got! We posted more articles in July than any other month in our 3+ years of sharing terrific bookshop news and tips. This past month we also added a new section to the site, Book Reviews, in an attempt to share some good books with sellers that they can then pass along to their clients and/or keep an eye out for while book hunting.

The first crop of reviews tilted towards Vampire Fiction of one sort or another. Here are some of them:

Of the 45 articles published in July I’ll try to select a few that really stood out.

Nora has been our most consistently strong writer since this site began. This month she shares some great history and perspective on Books.

“Meanwhile off in the Americas, the pre-Columbian civilizations there developed their own version of the book.  They just started off using something a lot closer to what we think of as “paper”.   Amatl was made out of the inner bark of fig trees and covered in lime.  (much like modern paper is covered with clay or other minerals)  Mesoamerican codices were generally folded accordion style as they were a lot more durable than papyrus and easily withstood folding. (so looked more like street maps than what we think of as books)  Despite their durability, only around a dozen or so Mesoamerican codices survive…

To Cull or Not to Cull is the question posed by Therese Holland:
“Today I have actually culled the Time Life World’s Wild Places series books, they are going to a good home, giving them to the gentleman who does odd jobs for me as he loves this type of book. It only took me four years but I have finally gotten them off the shelf.
Next I went through the general fiction, my classics and penguins do well but the Picadors are generally unloved. They aren’t quite out the door but they are getting a spin online, reasonably priced, to see if they do better there. Someone has a blog somewhere they ask why I have to have so many copies of In the Days of the American Museum here and really it is a good question. Why do I have so many copies? Why do I have so many copies of Foetal Attraction? Why do I have so many copies of Brmm. It’s a mystery.”

I particularly enjoyed Mr. Verma’s story on his old bookshop, The Reader
“The Reader opened as scheduled on the third of March.
It was uncharted territory: I did not know what to expect and where I wanted to take the business. I was retired and had been an agriculturist and a tea planter for too many years to immediately settle into a business I knew nothing about. I was suddenly very nervous! Here I was, doing something I had dreamt up on a dreary December morning! It was surreal. It took a month or thereabouts for just the idea to settle and for the butterflies to stop fluttering, each time I unlocked the shutters, in the morning.
Gradually, I began to look forward to the joy of every new day.”

And finally one of our newest writers Matthew Singleton talks about eBooks and Digital Preservation:

“I bring these issues of digital preservation up, especially when it deals with born-digital files (files that have only ever existed digitally) because they are going to affect the long-term viability of the eBook industry. All it takes is one format change for the next major eBook manufacturer to decide they don’t want to support the epub standard (or any of the other common eBook file types) and everyone’s eBook library is so many useless megabytes. It really would not surprise me if this happens, especially with the advent of new copyright legislation forbidding format shifting and digital lock breaking. Legislation like this exists in the US, the UK, and is currently being debated in Canada. It’s happened before, and is currently happening: VHS vs. Beta, VHS vs. DVD (just try buying a new VHS player these days), Blu-Ray vs. HD-DVD (good luck finding an HD-DVD player). Do you really want to have to buy your favourite books again every time you move to a new eBook reader?”

** We continue to search for new writers for the site. If you own a bookshop (online or B&M) or hope to do so in the near future and want to share your experiences, tips, past glories or even book store failures then please let me know. Here are a few details…