Saturday, 30 April 2011

We are joining the revolution and hoping to get enough votes to 'win' £5000 to support Borderline Books in placing more and more bookshelves in more and more local community centres and other spots where people can access them. At the moment we are still running unfunded, which limits us severely. We cannot continue to rely on private donations as it is just not sustainable.

So please vote for us - click here to get to the page

Friday, 15 April 2011

London + Book fair

Oh... the London Book Fair is a sad affair.... It was originally set up so that small independent publishers who could not afford to go to the Frankfurt Book fair could show their titles to publishers on their way to Germany (any excuse for a trip to London for Americans!)
Each time the LBF has 're-vamped' it has locked out more and more small publishers and ALL of the Black publishers. It is now a bland collection of hyper-super-multi-national sharks who have devoured so many independent houses (at least in the EC1 end of the Earls Court exhibition hall). The few small publishers who used to exhibit upstairs, before that was turned into an agent's centre are gone.... Some publishers use upstairs for their meetings, thus missing the chance to exhibit and pick up passing contacts, others band together in groups, making it possible either to reach the books they have on display or to sit at a tiny table to conduct meetings... not an ideal situation as it is almost impossible for anyone to browse the books on display...

EC2 has a few foreign publishers paying through the nose for a booth, and a lot of e-book companies and remainder dealers... and a few UK publishers , but very few - including our most generous benefactor this year Eddison Sadd (thanks again)

So... I escaped after 2 days into a London that seems like a foreign land to me after so many years. Found Charing Cross Road eventually (behind the builders' hoardings) and about two 'proper' second hand/antiquarian bookshops where there used to be dozens.

Just how much coffee does a city need?


Is this all too negative? Sorry, I did manage to buy a few books for friends and family while out on the streets - and one for myself called 'They Say': Ida B Wells and the Reconstruction of Race by James West Davidson.... a very, very interesting book which I am enjoying reading and from which I am learning a lot (like the Republicans used to be the party that supported Black people back in the day, while the Democrats and KKK did all they could to keep them down.