It's the 23rd January, and I'm freezing. I don't usually feel the cold, but I've spent all day in a conference about educational innovation. I think a useful innovation would have been to turn the heating on. It was a good conference, but the temperature in the hall (Senate House, University of London), was lower than it was outside.
So, a brisk walk brings me to St Pancras station, and the branch of Hatchards there. (As an aside, if you ever want a signed book, Hatchards is the place to go. Foyles has a few, and other bookshops have them occasionally, but Hatchards has the most, and all the time.)
I'm now going to switch to the past tense.
I started looking in the non-fiction section, and an assistant came along, sat on a stool, and asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I wondered if she thought I looked like a shoplifter! Anyway, I told her I was interested in Why we sleep, by Matthew Walker. She took me straight to it, and told me why she liked it. I asked her if it was fairly scientific, rather than anecdotal, and she assured me it was.
So, I bought it, and the young lady at the till was charm personified.
It was a nice experience. It left me feeling a lot warmer inside than when I entered, and not merely because of the temperature.
I like Amazon, but I don't think any algorithm can replace well-informed and pleasant bookshop staff.
How an experience at one of my favourite bookshops warmed me up on a freezing day.
Baking with Kaka is a great book, especially if you're a writer and an avid reader.
If you have a tonne of books, what's the best way of organising them? Here are a few suggestions.
Where to have coffee and buy books in Hampstead, London.
How to read a book a week.
Alongside the London Book Fair is the What Works education conference. As you may have surmised from its proximity to the LBF, it focuses on educational publishing.
I've just published my first Kindle book. Here are a few brief reflections.
A quick heads-up about a newsletter I find quite useful, and mention of a couple of books.
If you have an ebook reader or app, especially the Kindle, then you're in luck. Here are 5 free and low-cost services from which you can obtain new books every day!