Saturday, 11 October 2014

A ramble from the bookshop, new Ramsgate directories, I consider the business of bookshops in the uk, nearly finish The Alex Cross Novels of James Paterson and work up to seeing the new Jeremy Deller exhibition at Turner Conteporary.

Here in the bookshop in Ramsgate we are still busier than expected for the time of year, it probably won’t last but it is strange to be running an ordinary shop and having sales increase.

I guess Tesco may be right when they say that shopping is going back to smaller shops, with shopping being done more often in the town centres. With my bookshop I am inclined to look for reasons for trends and the years of trending downwards caused by out of town shopping, the big retail chains taking over bookselling, the internet and the Kindle certainly explain the downwards trend since about 1995. Explaining the upwards trend now is a tad tricky, though I think there are a number of reasons, the main one being that there isn’t much shop shopping left once you have done the food shopping, the clothes shopping and the internet shopping. 


Not really sure what the chain bookshops are up to, my guess is that the number of people buying physical books at the full price must be very small now, as I said I am near the end of the James Patterson Alex Cross novels, this a run of around twenty books published over the last twelve years or so and frankly if you have never read them then it is best to read them in order. The recommended retail price of each of them is around £8 each, so if you bought them at that it would cost you around £160 to read them. we had nearly all of them on the shelf in the bookshop, none of them priced at more than £2 with an average price of around £1.75 so reading all of them, if we had all of them would cost around £35 as it was I bought one of them in a charity shop and two online, so as a customer the overall cost of sourcing most of them from us topping a few up from the internet, using our exchange scheme would probably have meant it costing around £40, buying all of them cheapest you could online it would probably have come out around the same, but the effort involved in buying 20 different items from 20 different sellers, with a high probability of at least one of the orders going wrong, well you know…


On the non fiction front sales in our shop seem to be holding there own too, although there is a bit of a strange one going on here. The average non fiction customer seems to be buying much more narrower field in depth books now, with the books that have contents very similar to websites not really selling at all. And yet. What? I had a major browse in Waterstones the other day and a great many recently published non fiction books seem to have contents very like websites.


Another new Ramsgate directory out today, Ramsgate Private Residents Directory 1971, click on the link to buy it http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/ramsgate_private_residents_directory_1971.htm an apology about the one I did the other day Ramsgate Street Directory 1971 here is the link http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/catalogue/ramsgate_street_directory_1971.htm I took it out for a walk and some of the print was so faint I couldn’t decipher it, this may have been a senior moment with reading glasses issue, but it seemed pretty bad to me. Anyway it has been re scanned and if you bought one of the very feint ones I will replace it with an ok one.   

I have the 1963 ones in the pipeline and they should be ready in around a weeks time.

I have just had a bit of scan of the what’s on Thanet site http://www.visitthanet.co.uk/what-s-on I was surprised to see that the Manston Airport event wasn’t there, perhaps it’s for airport supporters only a quick scan of Twitter https://twitter.com/search?q=%23manston&src=typd and facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/savemanstonairport suggests it has been a bit of a flop. I guess this is partly down to it not being well publicised and partly down to it not being at all clear what you get, does the entrance charge cover the cost of the rides? What rides are there [Dad anything worth going on and how much] like I can see getting there with the children, forking out £20 to get in and then finding it's about £3 per ride, which translates to £60.  

Anyway being very sceptical of a TDC cpo, not at all keen on an airfreight hub, but very keen on the historic aviation side and vaguely supportive of an airport I could actually fly from, I really don’t know if I would be welcome there so I think I will give it a miss tomorrow.  

What the visit Thanet site did have to say is that the new Jeremy Deller exhibition http://www.turnercontemporary.org/exhibitions/jeremy-deller-english-magic has opened at Turner Contemporary, I have just watched the video a couple of times.

Sketched Jeremy Deller in felt tip pen while watching the video and yes I did pause it a few times, sorry it’s not a very good likeness, but I think famous artists are fair game when you are trying to do this sort of thing.

This business of sketching artists is a strange one, if you believe The Guardian then this is a portrait of turner as a young man, see http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2010/aug/15/jmw-turner-portrait  


Artists tend to get drawn quite a bit so the pictures of them by different artists are interesting if you try to draw portraits.

Plenty of portraits of turner on The National Portrait Gallery website at http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/person/mp04566/joseph-mallord-william-turner


I quite like this one. 
I will try and get there tomorrow and do some sort of a review here.

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