Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Free for Free

Stephen Clayton, author of The art of being dead, visited a reading group in Hebden Bridge yesterday. The ladies who attended were passionate about their reading, inquisitive and asked some great questions about the characters in Steve's book. There was one worrying question from a member of the group who asked why we were giving away books at Hebden Bridge station. This worried me. Bluemoose Books is a business not a charity, and even though I, too, am passionate about books, we're trying to sell as many book as possible in order to publish more great stories from great new writers. It so happens I set up a Bluemoose Library there two months ago, with a selection of our titles which are available to read, free of charge, but once read they are to be put back into the Bluemoose library thus benefiting other passengers. My theory is that her friend hadn't read the notice I'd put up. I know the book selling world is going mad with all its 3 for 2's but even Waterstone's and Smiths haven't decided to throw it all in and give everything away , free. Well, not just yet.

1 comment:

  1. Good idea that, the lending books at stations one, not the giving books away for free to anyone who hasn't bought a newspaper. Told my wife about this and she told me of another form of 'book blog' she had heard of. Essentially you read a good book, perhaps one less likely to be getting the sort of promotion Wayne Rooney's autobiography demands and you leave it in a coffee shop or train station with a blog address inside and an invitation to read the book, comment on it on the addressed blog and then leave it somewhere for someone else to read and pass on.

    I am reminded of walking my then 4 year old daughter by the sea on Christmas Day and her watching bemused as two people dressed as santa rode up to her (and latterly lots of other kids) on a tandem and handed her an envelope with £5 in it. Now I'm not convinced it was the real Santa Claus, mainly because there were two of them, but as a random act of just putting something nice into someones life I was struck by what a powerful thing it was to do.
    And the moving book blog is a bit like that. Without the dressing up, or the tandem, or the free money. OK it's not very much like that but it is a bit, just a random offering of something good to a stranger and the possibility of a bit of engagement about a book.
    Works for me.


What do you think?