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Dark Puss

You come across, as usual, very well indeed in this discussion. I'll take issue with your interviewer's litmus test for a good book being the page turning aspect. I've read lots of quite ordinary (or even "bad") books which I found hard to put down and several very good books which I found very hard to read other than slowly and in small chunks.

What's your view on that aspect?

moira mcpartlin

It was good to hear you on BBC again. I read Travels with Charley after you recommended it on air. Well Done.


Hear, hear Dark Puss. I would put forward The Slap as a great example of rubbish being a page turner. Hated it but kept on reading!
Look forward to listening to you Cornflower and the debate on World Book Night. Can't reconcile a bookseller being against such an idea. I'll bet Florence in her bookshop would have embraced it with gusto!


I agree, DP, that 'page-turning' is more descriptive of type than necessarily indicative of quality.


Thankyou so much, Moira - I hope you enjoyed 'Charley'.


Why on earth should a bookseller be expected to give away free books! What next ... World Meat Day and we can all expect a free joint of beef from the butcher? And no doubt in three weeks time, many thousands of those free books will flood into the charity shops - and undercut the bookseller yet again.
I thought she was making a fair point. And Jamie Byng came across as patronising and high-handed.


"newly discovered short stories by Daphne du Maurier". Really? Tell me more pls.


Echoing Mystica, I would love to know more about the Daphne du Maurier newly discovered short stories.


There's an article about the du Maurier short stories here:


Another fine radio performance by Cornflower, well done. Thought the debate about world book night was not very good - Vanessa Robertson didn't get her ideas together at all well and I thought missed a lot of the value of the points the organiser was making. But I am one of the volunteers - I'm giving away Seamus Heaney - so I was already convinced. We often get free books - libraries, loans from friends - and they sometimes open up a new author and a lifetime of reading - those people might go into Vanessa's shop, but doesn't sound as if she is ready to welcome them yet!


The bookseller isn't being asked to give away anything, merely to welcome new readers - that's not so hard, surely?


Oh m shops are always giving away tasters in the hope we will buy! Why should a bookseller be afraid of giving away a few books and if a charity shop benenfits at the end of the chain so much the better. Still haven't been able to listen to the debate but my appetite is whetted!


I also meant to say I, too, am a volunteer. I'm giving away The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. DGR is on Book Club at 4.30 on Radio4 today which should also make interesting listening. Booksellers couldn't buy the sort of publicity books are getting on the BBC at the moment. They really should welcome this initiative. Back to butchers, I'm sure there is a National Sausage Week which I'll bet they love!!


It got a bit muddled towards the end, and I'm no wiser - even having looked at the website - as to how one qualifies for a free book!
But it sounded as if the bookshop was to be used as a collection point? And as Vanessa was saying she was expected to opt out of this arrangement, rather than opt in ... that's what I mean by high-handed.
I'd have got the hump if it were my bookshop.
Also, call me cynical - but I'm not at all convinced by these 'new readers.' Though I'm sure that lots of people like me will be delighted if someone offers them a free book.
Oh dear, I seem to be having a grumpy old woman moment!


There is, Claire! But they don't give away the sausages.


Yes, some of the admin does seem a bit last minute and I think opting in was a silly way of managing it. But the books are actually being donated by the publishers - with the authors' approval - and the bookshops are merely collection points for volunteer givers like me. I went to collect mine this morning, and the staff are thrilled by the event - for which they're planning to open late, offer various incentives to buy books etc. New readers? Yes, it's a real risk, and clearly every book given won't create a new reader - but I read because someone gave me books as a child, but not everyone sadly has that background - so I am going to remain optimistic! As for qualifying, you simply qualify if a volunteer offers you a book - on the train, in the street, at a party, school, hospital, anywhere. If you're in West Dorset on Saturday night, you can have a Seamus Heaney!


What a kind offer, Lindsay! No chance of West Dorset, I'm afraid ... but I'll keep my eyes open for strangers bearing Seamus Heaney in West London!


m ...I'll bet some of them cook sausages and give samples away. Perhaps we'll have to agree to differ! If you were closer you'd be very welcome to a copy of The Prime of .....


I'm in West London too, so you never know!


I have to buy this book - great discussion!


Well done, Cornflower! You sounded confident and enthusiastic on RadioScotland! I think I will have to read this one!


Thanks for the link, Cornflower. I'll look forward to adding this anthology to my collection.

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