A few weeks ago, whilst middle son was warming up for the first round of the Northumberland Rugby County Cup, I nipped off to visit one of the largest second hand book shops in the UK. Ironically, the night before, I had visited a friends house who had loads of books left over from a Cancer Research coffee morning she had hosted the previous week – take your pick she said. Well what’s a boy to do?
So what’s the point of this particular rambling, well I guess it’s a celebration (of sorts). Books are wonderful things and authors (at least the majority of the ones I know) are wonderful, creative people. Putting aside the obvious (or perhaps not so obvious) points about recycling and raising money for charity (although the second hand book shop I refer to in this piece is run as a business. Bastards, some of you may be tempted to cry because as an author you won’t see any royalties from that particular sale), it’s about the reader having the opportunity to discover someone new, or in my case rediscover authors I had tried to read before, but it was a case of wrong book at the wrong time (in case you’re wondering this includes Stephen King – yes Stephen King! I read a few of his short(er) stories as a teenager and I have to confess to disliking them. Ian (M) Banks is another).
Now this might all be a little strange to read, a wannabe author – who will no doubt end up going down the digital self publishing route – celebrating second hand books (as already mentioned where are the royalties?!?!), but for me the second hand book (whether they be a ‘commercial’ or charity purchase, or simply handed down from a friend) encourages people to take a chance on a new author, or allow an existing author a second chance. All of which has to be good for everyone – plus I only paid a few pounds for the books which shows that quality can come cheap.
Anyway I have a pile of books waiting to be read, which means I am going to stop typing and go reading.
Oh and middle son won the rugby match. Happy days all round.