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The Final Week September 13, 2010

Posted by Phil Groom in Watching and Waiting.
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6 comments
LST Books & Resources

LST Books & Resources

This is it. My final week as Bookshop Manager at London School of Theology. Just three days, in fact, as I’ll only be working Tuesday to Thursday and then it’s all over, left with my colleague and good friend Nick Aston to run the show.

It’s been an interesting time, these last few weeks, trying to tidy up as many loose ends as possible, notifying suppliers and others of my departure and showing Nick the tricks of the trade. For Nick it’s going to be a challenging time as he attempts to do all that I’ve been doing as well as his own job in less than half our combined hours: if you’re minded to pray, please keep him in mind as he’s going to need all the support he can get; and if you’re ever in Northwood looking for a book or a bar of fairtrade chocolate, please go pay him a visit.

It’s going to be a different shop and a different approach to running it when I’m gone, with the stock profile largely driven by faculty recommendations and course reading lists alongside a proposed increase in non-book product. Whereas I’ve always aimed to maintain an extensive backlist beyond the reading lists, perused publishers’ catalogues and met with reps to select new titles, it’s unlikely that Nick will have time for that, although time will tell, of course: who can say how things will pan out?

As for me, a part-time job in a local supermarket to keep a few pennies rolling in whilst I reorientate and focus my attention and energies on various web projects. There’s more than enough to keep me busy: the question is whether I can make it pay.

I also plan to devote some time to blogging in support of my madosphere friends: there’s far too much stigma and misunderstanding attached to mental illness where there should be respect and support for those who are battling these traumas. If you missed it, go read my post Meeting the Mentalists: awesome people, each and every one.

And finally: to all at LST, my friends and colleagues: it’s been a good ten years: I salute you. Or as the dolphins would say, “So long, and thanks for all the fish.”

Some of my web projects…

Into the Madosphere: Some Mental Health Bloggers I Admire

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Daring to Dream October 27, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Bookshop Ramblings, Watching and Waiting.
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10 comments

Books for EveryoneI dreamed a dream.

I dreamed of people reading: an older man in his armchair, laughing uproariously at Bill Bryson’s latest; a young man, marching along, head in his book, enthralled, enchanted, oblivious to the world around him; a woman, relaxing with a new romance — or was it a crime story or a thriller she was absorbed in? Two children, excited as they discovered new worlds, new possibilities.

Who were these people? I don’t know: they could have been me, they could have been you; but all of them were loving and enjoying their books, real books printed on real paper.

Where were these people? They were everywhere. But as I looked, I could see them close to home, not far away at all: in my street, in my neighbourhood; and so another dream was born and began to take shape: Biggleswade Books.

Can that dream become reality? I hope so; and I hope that you, gentle reader, will share my dream…

Biggleswade Books: Dreaming of a new, independent bookshop for Biggleswade and the surrounding area.

A Rule for Reading June 26, 2009

Posted by Phil Groom in Bookshop Ramblings.
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6 comments

I dedicate this post to my friend bourach 🙂Too Many Books

Sometimes in life we need rules. Maybe all the time: as bourach reminded me recently, the rules are what make things safe; without them we face chaos.

Here’s my proposed rule for reading when you’re faced with too many books and you don’t know where to start: do you start with the old ones or the new ones?

My rule is: Read the new ones first.

Why? Because the old ones will always get older; the new ones will never get newer. If you read the new ones whilst they’re still new, then you can turn to the old ones later. Do it the other way round, though, and you’ll only ever have old books to read.

Books: probably the only thing in life I’m qualified to make a rule about!

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