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?

1 comment:

Christopher James Heyworth said...

Most of my local journalist friends lament the closure or diminution of local libraries, and would welcome the opportunity to persuade their editors to promote this sort of "Poetry Circus Comes To Town" approach - it is noticeable that tiny amounts are spent on stocking library shelves with poetry which works well for avid collectors such as me - through Amazon Marketplace I've accrued lots of discontinued library hardback editions which the general reader has shown little or no interest in. If you go ahead with the scheme I have dozens of poetry collections as your initial stock. Just let me know.