Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Ramsgate slipways, horrible heritage asbestos sheds, Mike Samson Harbour Street Wall and Piece, bonkers aspects of bookselling and publishing, a ramble from the bookshop.

The remainder of the winch houses for the WW2 slipways are being demolished at the moment. These were once petrol engined winches, replaced I think in 70s with electric motors. My understanding is that the winch gearboxes date from WW2, I would doubt the winch houses do as if the winches were housed it would have probably been corrugated iron and not asbestos.

The winches are being retained, I understand, one for back up on the main slipway and the other for one of the WW2 slipways, which will be usable after the demolition and rebuilding.

I am very much behind The Hornby Hobby Visitor Centre being built on this site, it is just the sort of tourist attraction that Ramsgate needs.

I do however have some reservations, one being that there seems to be no clear understanding about whether workshops and office buildings are going to be built so the slipways can operate again, the other being the recent financial problems that Hornby have had.

I am not sure of the planning status of the bar complex that was going to be built there, only that the plans for it seemed too low from a storm and tide point of view, something that was addressed in the visitor centre plans.

I have posted about the slipways development before and if you haven’t been following the issue here is the link to my previous posts, which should help you to access planning documents and mock up pictures of the various proposals http://thanetonline.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Ramsgate%20slipways%20development 

On to our very own Banksey and our Wall and Peace, Mike Sampson who runs York Street Gallery and is doing one of his famous Ramsgate cartoon letterbox paintings, actually as it’s around fifty feet long and eight feet high, letterbox format may be an understatement.

Rather him than me, good on you Mike.

On the bookselling front, it may surprise non book collectors to know that book collectors and booksellers are quite fussy about the condition of collectable books, first editions and the like. Booksellers of the secondhand and antiquarian type also become rather fussy.

I will use my favourite novel to explain what I mean, The Magus by John Fowles, here is the link to copies of first editions of it available for sale today http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?bi=0&bx=off&dj=on&ds=30&fe=on&pn=cape&recentlyadded=all&sortby=17&sts=t&tn=magus

A fine condition first edition is worth about £200 the only difference in the book between the first edition and the second impression is the line, Second Impression June 1966.

The dustwrapper of the second impression has reviews printed on the inner flap which weren’t available for the first edition as the critics hadn’t been able to read it because it hadn’t been published.

So this £200 is for a fine copy, write your name in it, or anything else for that matter and the value would be reduce to around £100, clip the price off the dustwrapper and that would reduce the value by about half, as would tearing the dust wrapper.

Slap a horrible sticky label on it and a paper conservationist may be able to get it off, something which would cost about £100 and you would probably still get some sort of mark.

Waterstones the chain booksellers have been trying to enter the secondhand, antiquarian and collectable book world, this is one of the results.

Large publishers can do some pretty bonkers things too, imagine studying Bertolt Brecht and being told to get a copy of Methuen Plays Three, one has completely different plays in it to the other. 

Back to Ramsgate where the Pleasurama cliff façade paint is still falling off, what can you say? Obviously water is getting behind the façade, not something I would like to live under.

Finally apologies for not that much in the way of blog posting at the moment, I have been busy in my bookshop mostly managing incoming stock, this lot got processed today http://michaelsbookshop.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/a-small-selection-of-fiction-arrives-in.html

The increased activity is mostly down to the main online bookselling sites having shot themselves in their feet. So that while on the one had most books appear to be for sale online for less than or around the cost of posting them, meaning it is very difficult to sell books online. While on the other hand when you actually go to buy a secondhand book online most of the cheap copies seem to be for sale from seller that have less than 98% good feedback, making difficult to buy online.

This situation means that I am buying and selling quite a lot more books at the moment, so don’t have a lot of time to blog.   


1 comment:

  1. Or even "Mike Samson" LOL :) Thanks for your words of support and encouragement Michael.


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