I was watching commercial television yesterday and my pleasure at watching The Missouri Breaks was diminished by the almost constant interruption of an advert for the kindle. It was basically bright young things running and jumping around with a bit of plastic in their hands. And it occurred to me that if you replaced the bit of plastic with an actual book, well, then you had an irritating knob bouncing around with a book in his hand, trying to impress the girls.
Carte Blanche in case you didn't know, is the 'new' James Bondnovel published yesterday to much fanfare. (I wanted to say Finefare, but who these days remembers them?)
It has a recommended retail price of £19.99. Our copies on a 'special deal' cost us £9.50.
As you can see, Sainsbury's are selling it for £7.00.
Either they got a very special deal, or they're selling it at a substantial loss.
Probably both, wouldn't you think?
Then consider that this is the place that James Daunt starts from.
I was in my local Waterstone's this afternoon where an awful lot of the front of the store was taken up with a Father's Day promotion that featured anything but books. There were fluffy gonk things and a pen made of twigs that doubled as a catapult and little Morph dolls. Little Morph dolls. And Hitler DVDs.
Yes, I know they are high margin items, but the problem is, even in Croydon, that's exactly what they look like.
And I'm not sure if it was the result of a Head Office memo, but they were playing Simon and Garfunkle on the shop stereo.
That is like hieroglyphics to the jazz guitarist because it's written by a saxophonist, Jim says of the book I am ordering for him.
But I understand it, he says, because I am a musician.
That's good, I say.
It's windy out, he says, perfect for flying a kite.
Or something else.
Like a dirigible, he says.
Jason Isbell. His new CD Here We Rest is just the bits. This isn't from it, but if you like it then you should buy the CD. If not. Then not.
Literate, narrative, Southern American songwriting at its best.
[And the first comment on the YouTube page is priceless.]
We will be at sixes and sevens trying to decided which two of them are the thieves.
According to this report :
one in eight women over 35 have discovered infringing copyright is cheaper than paying a couple of bob a book.
Too busy spending their money on them big handbags, I wouldn't wonder.
Although obviously not you lady, or you, or you either - surely you have some way to go to thirty five, no?
Kind of me to say so?
Not at all.
And it isn't even published yet.
I'm betting too than within a month Michael O'Mara will have published Shut up and Eat Your Dinner you Cunt
Which, lets face it, should do very well in south London.
No pressure then.
Actually I'm very grateful that she doesn't think I'm already old and boring.
At the 2011 Bookseller Industry Awards Sainsbury's *scooped* the prize.
Apparently they have been reinvigorating book zones.
At this point you may want to say, whatthefuck?
This on the same day that it is reported that the President of The Booksellers Association is calling for more support for high street bookshops and says, the economics for booksellers simply don't work.
And this, is should be noted, is the same Sainsbury's that has recently been selling the latest Jackie Collins, Goddess of Vengeance, hardback and with an rrp of £14.99 for £5.00 making, I am reliably informed, a loss of over £2.00 a copy.
Fair play then to the customer, who on Saturday afternoon returned from a next door visit to our local Sainsbury's with a picture on his phone of a book he had seen in there. I hope you have this, he said, because I don't want to buy it in a supermarket.
We did. And he bought it.
They may sell a lot of books, but that doesn't make them booksellers.