Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Christmas shopping for grownups and local books and the Thanet bomb maps.

Secondhand bookshops don’t have that much to do with Christmas shopping on the whole, with the internet now being the major source for new books, I would guess it isn’t what it was in the few remaining new bookshops.

The exception here being local history books, I would guess most people who read this blog know I publish about 150 books about East Kent, especially The Isle of Thanet, all of this with a strong emphasis on books related to Ramsgate.

One way or another, having eliminated socks, quite a few local people will give other local people a local history book this Christmas. Christmas shopping for grownups becomes increasingly difficult every year. When I was a child virtually every grown up smoked and had a coal fire, so spills were a favourite, now most grownups spend much of their leisure using some piece of technology.

A big problem here is that as the technology becomes more advanced and more personalised, there is progressively less that you can give to people, that they could possibly enjoy.

A few years ago, apart from the inevitable items of clothing, most of which was unwearable, the smellies that did the rounds from one aunt to another and some of which had been presents on more than a dozen occasions, it was books and records in my family. Exchanges between thinking and reasonably educated people being like that.

Now we have a situation where what made and educated gift, a grown up toy, is mostly a non-transferable electronic download of some sort.

I do have some new local books that I don’t publish, these are mostly for sale at the published price and when they run out I have to reorder them from a number of different sources and that can take as long as a month.

Combined with this is the problem that I often find they have gone out of print and I just can’t get them again. The picture above is of a few of the new local books we have in stock at the moment. 

Then there are the out of print local books, although these are usually secondhand, they are often very desirable and more expensive than they would be were they available new.

It is the a very fortunate person who has friends that will give them desirable secondhand books as presents, the picture above is of some of the secondhand local books on the shelf in my bookshop today.

Anyway we now come to the panacea, personally I don’t like being advertised at, Christmas presents are necessary and somehow or another I have to try and make this work for people as best I can, when it comes to local history books and frankly I can’t do it as well as I would like if it all happens at the last minute.

So here are the Thanet bomb maps as promised, people often ask me for them. 

the maps will expand if clicked on and the expanded amp will expand if clicked on again


  1. Michael do you publish any of your titles for the new e-readers ?? I prefer a book myself but more people are going digital.

    1. No Don, doing so would be a fairly time consuming business and the friends I have in the larger local history publishers, that have done this say that the sales of local history books in electronic formats is very small relative to local history books published on paper.

      That said I do often publish whole free web versions of local history books and link them to this blog.

      From personal experience when doing local history research, one uses a mixture of online resources and paper books, in fact a very full desk and lots of pages open on the internet.

      I would say that at the moment the technology that works well with specialist non fiction hasn’t yet appeared, whereas reading a novel or biography on a kindle seems to work fine.

      I guess a major snag with Kindle is you can’t pass the books around. I know for instance that the novel my son is giving me for Christmas, which I very much want to read, he will want to read after me. I have just looked on Amazon the book is £11 inc post, the kindle download is £10, so it’s £5.50 each to share the book or £10 each for the Kindle edition.

  2. Your map revives bad memories for me,I can see some bombs hits I remember are missing from the record.

    1. Stargazer I thing these maps were published during the war and don’t think complete maps were published after it had finished.

    2. I agree these maps are not complete. Nothing shown on the harbour where several members of the lifeboat crew were injured on 24 August 1940. Others not shown,



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