Thursday, 26 June 2014

This could be interesting

I'm going to make a sweeping generalisation here... I'm going to go ahead and assume that everyone who's reading this, can read.

I mean it's not much of a stretch, this blog is about 98% text, with only the odd gratuitous picture of a discouraged rat or a glowing bottle of cannabis imbued vodka.  Word-heavy pages on the Internet tend to attract people who can actually read.

Here's sweeping generalisation number 2 - Hold on to your hats - The chances are, if you're actually reading this on purpose and you've not just found your way here via Google, (because I cleverly added the words 'Naked', 'Virgin' & 'Schoolgirl' to the Page-tags to trap fans of seedy porography) - You're happily residing towards the top of the 'Pretty bright' scale.

What, traditionally, do pretty bright people enjoy?

Ok, smarty-pants, apart from feeling superior...

That's right, they like to read books.

Books are flipping great, aren't they?

As Groucho Marx once said: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Wait... No... I was trying to be serious there wasn't I?  Let's try that again...

Prolific Writer, "Cleaner', Newsreader, Pizza Delivery Guy, Cemetery Caretaker, Truck Driver and serial ATM User, Stephen King announced, "Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life."

(LOL, Stephen King said 'Dead Spots')

And I agree with Mr Bachman, I always carry a book with me... Admittedly, it's 'usually' in my head, and I'm 'usually' just about halfway through writing it, but it still counts.

Can you remember the last book you bought?  More importantly, can you remember where you bought it from?  I'll wager that the vast proportion of you just answered Amazon, or something similar.  Now, I'm not going to berate you about how buying books from the online sheds is terrible and how it's slowly strangling the life out of real, bricks and mortar bookshops (Even though it is) because... Well... To be frank, it's CURRENTLY the only place you can buy any of my books.  And I'll bite a lot of things, but not the hand that feeds me, because that would be silly.

Why don't we all shop in real bookshops?  Well, there just aren't that many of them around any more, in fact, there are now less than 1,000 independent book shops left in the UK - That's about one bookshop for every 64,062 people. When you think about it, that's pretty sad - There's a whole generation of kids who, if we don't do anything about it, will never know the joy of wandering around a maze-like bookshop, feverishly clutching their birthday money in their jammy little fists, finding a book they like, figuring out whether they can afford it and finally plucking up the courage to approach the friendly, but still obscenely scary person behind the counter to complete their purchase.

But I suppose Amazon have a huge selection, and they deliver don't they, usually when you're out, so you get one of those notes from the postman that says "We tried to deliver this parcel that you've been waiting for, but you were, like, out, or having a poop or something, so we've taken it back to the depot, and / or thrown it over your fence and into your pond.

We're all getting lazy, and fat, and relying too much on technology to make our lives easier.  Reading a book is a fairly sedentary thing to do in the first place, the least you can do is actually get off your well-read butt and go out hunting for a book 'in the wild' as it were.

And here's the perfect opportunity:

Next week is Independent Booksellers Week, why don't you take the time to go out, find your nearest purveyor of fine reading matter and spaff your spare cash uncontrollably all over their shelves.

You might even actually want to get involved yourselves, that's what I'm doing (But as you all know, I am a HUGE show-off so it was a bit of a no-brainer really)

On the afternoon of Saturday 5th of July, I'll be at the wonderfully independent Southcart Books on Lower Hall Lane, in sunny Walsall, jewel of the West Midlands.

Scott and Amy - Give them ALL of your money - They deserve it.

Why will I be there? Well, ostensibly to eat all of the cake and drink all of the tea and coffee*  But I will also, hopefully, find time to read a couple of stories from both volumes of 'The Collected Chimping Dandy'.

Ah, here's an idea... Should you be in the area, by which I mean 'able to get there if you set out now, with a loyal team of Sherpas and a dozen barrels of Navy Rum', you should totally come and see me look embarrased, go red and mumble, and say "ummmm.." and "errrr.." a lot whilst one chap and his dog claps nervously as I tell the story about the exploding pigeon.  Other authors should also be there, it's not just me, that would be weird.

It might be fun... No, it will be fun - I'm just not sure yet at whose expense...

*Please note: I've got no idea whether there will be refreshments... But there's a bucketload of shops in the general area - You can sort yourselves out.

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