Round Up 11/05/06

It only struck me today (I am in a borders cafe two blocks behind the white house paying an outrageous fee to be online as I couldn’t find a free wi-fi spot, oh for the day someone rolls that across the world) that my writing and posting has been very Euro (More British and Irish) centric. It is not the worst thing in the world I suppose but in some ways it may seem out of sink. For instance my dates are not American so 9/11 for Americans becomes 11/9 for me. I think I’ll stick with the current format and worry about it some other day.

A Publishing manifesto??
Irish Book Publishers, through their representative body Cle, are launching a new campaign to push for more Irish control of the Book trade here. (From their newsletter) At present:

“Ireland publishes one-quarter of the European average of titles per head, and with indigenous publishing holding no more than 25 per cent of sales, is the most penetrated market by foreign publishing. Look out for the May edition of The Irish Book Review, in which Tony Farmar, President of CLÉ, makes a case for the establishment of a National Book Policy. The idea is to coordinate all book interests from authors to librarians in a concerted pressure group. It has been done before. Schoolbook publishing here used to be almost exclusively British-owned – now it is Irish. The first objective of the Policy would be to double the Irish share of the trade book market (to reach the level of the next most penetrated market, Austria). Tony Farmar”

This post though is on two main points first how we miss a truly good bookstore chain in Ireland. Borders is an amazing treat for someone like me with wide reading tastes. The history section here is a joy to wander around and huge to boot as are the current affairs and politics sections and the biography and memoir areas. Crucially, for me at least, the science fiction and fantasy shelves bulge with titles and unheard of authors all in the same store. And there are newspapers and magazine selections that would make Easons blush and feel like a corner store (with the possible exception of their O’Connell Street Store) and all wrapped up in quality music and a very fine cafe.

The staff are helpful but not too in your face the computer search system is excellent and in general the more I see of Borders the more I like. I look forward to shopping in their Irish store when it opens and encourage everyone already in the Irish market to learn and develop their offerings.

My Blurb post seems to have attracted attention jumping in only one day to the top ranked post ever. It is interesting to me to see that! Hopefully it will add to the pressure for thought and change in the Industry. Though to be honest with the minimal impact blogs such as my own have I rely on other more establish thinkers to achieve this on our behalf.

As my hint up above suggests I am in the USA at the moment on holiday. I will continue to post but lighter than before.