Thursday, 7 February 2013

The CBe Circulating Library

Books posted off today included, among others, Cusp, the Shearsman book edited by Geraldine Monk on small-press ventures between WW2 and www (to someone I’d mentioned it to); and a proof copy of the new Rebecca Solnit, from Granta in June (to someone I think might like it). Then I went for a swim, and here’s today’s thought-in-the-shower: a circulating library.

Next week I’ll post ten CBe books to addresses chosen pretty much at random from the address book, along with the 2013 catalogue and stamps for forwarding the book to someone else and probably a brief note explaining the process. The idea, obviously, is to put the books into circulation – to use readers to get them to other readers who at present are not on my radar.

The hope, also obviously, is that there’ll be some spin-off: that new readers may order the book for themselves as well as sending it on (there may be a discount on these orders, refunding readers’ postage onward of the original; I haven’t thought this through in detail). At the very least, the process should introduce new readers to the CBe list.

If it works (i.e., if orders start coming in), we’ll do it again. Trust is involved – that the books keep moving, that they don’t come to rest on someone’s shelf. Trust is always involved.

If you’d like to be a founder member of the Circulating Library – that is, to receive one of the books I’ll post next week – let me know. And choose a title from the CBe list – maybe one you’ve already read that you’d like to send to someone else, maybe one that you haven’t yet bought but which you’d like a look at before deciding.

3 comments:

Niall Munro said...

This is a terrific idea, Charles. Good luck!

worksbyclaire said...

I love this idea. Have you had any feedback from the recipients yet, or whether it's been successful? Or is it too soon to know?
Claire

charles said...

No messages yet from strangers in distant lands.