Image: Awesome Stories
The Book Booth is a weekly feature at The Political Carnival, relating news, notes, and reflections from the world of books and publishing. @SeattleDan, along with his wife, @SeattleTammy, are operators of both an on-line bookstore here, as well as a brick and mortar storefront mini-store in Hoquiam, WA at 706 Simpson Ave (Route 101 South). Both have been in the book business since shortly after the Creation, or close to 6000 years now.
The Book Booth: Boxing Day Edition
Yes, I know Boxing Day was Friday. But I see no reason not to make a long weekend out of it. Here's hoping everyone had a joyous holiday and are now ready to take on the new year ahead.
Some of you may still be in the Christmas spirit. If so, you could check out the Guardian's top ten Christmases in literature. I was happy to see Joyce's The Dead included. Others were new to me, but that is one of the nice things about lists.
Last week I closed the post with the haunting images of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol as the Ghost of Christmas Present departs from Scrooge. Clive Irving of The Daily Beast give the novella a proper context for both Dickens time and ours in a illuminating rumination.
How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas
At least one Scrooge like policy has been overturned recently. Last year England and Wales stopped prisoners from receiving parcels of books. The BBC reports that the ban has been overturned. Good news, indeed.
Books in UK prisons.
For those of us keeping score, here is a recent study of book buying trends and demographics. None of this too surprising, except maybe in putting a number to how many purchases happen on the internets.
Online Book Sales
The end of the year continues to bring on the "Best of 2014" lists. But this one from James Woods at The New Yorker includes some titles that may have escaped the eye and are worth your time.
Best of 2014 You Might Have Missed
If you need more suggestions, NPR has some 250 books you can hear about, with niftty search bar and cover art for many of the discussed titles. And it has archives as well from years past.
NPR Book Lists
Chris Lane at the Houston Press has this amusing assessment from his time working in a chain bookstore. The pilfering of stock, alas, is a fact of life. In addition to the areas of books most lifted, I'd add certain kinds of writers. I know that at one point, one chain bookstore I know of, had to put all the Beat writers and Charles Bukowski behind the counter. And I can attest to some of the grosser things that happen. At one store I worked at we stocked the Sunday New York Times. This was before all the advances in technology and the paper wouldn't arrive to the store until Wednesday or Thursday of that week. We had the papers in a rack in front of the cash registers. Anyway, one evening a customer brought his purchases to be rung up and, unbeknowst to us, decided to "water" the paper. Sigh.
Behind the Scenes Working in a Chain Bookstore
Enjoy your weekend, and a Happy New Year to come. Give us some our top ten lists, too.