Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Next: the travelling circus
Above: a mobile library for sale. (One careful lady owner.) There are others.
One of the many enthusiastic online responses to last Saturday’s book fair ends thus: ‘Here’s hoping CB Editions will take their fair around the UK.’
Well. Given this: that in recent years hundreds of independent bookshops across the UK have closed; that in many towns a bricks-&-mortar bookshop is not now sustainable; that most (there are valiant exceptions) of the bookshops that do survive stock little other than the usual tedious and predictable titles –
Then why not this: a mobile bookshop. With a core stock of good books, which can be supplemented with books from local presses according to where the bookshop parks itself (Inverness, Aberystwyth, Land’s End, wherever). Doesn’t have to be a van like the above: a bus, a caravan, something smaller with a yurt packed in (I’ve always wanted a yurt). Its arrival would be a publicity event in itself. Can do the festivals as well as the bookless towns.
It takes just five days (I’ve checked) to train for an HGV license.
Seems to me a flippin’ obvious idea. So did the book fair, honestly, but no one was doing it. Comments?