Posts Tagged ‘Bookfest’

Busy busy here with us. But not so busy that I can’t find a minute to mention an extra instalment of our Literary Quiz, running as part of Oxfam’s Bookfest 2011. It’s slightly short notice, but it’s on Tuesday 12th July, 9pm at The 78 Kelvinhaugh St. Prizes for the winning teams, free entry. If you’re not on holiday, there are only poor excuses.

The following night we have another event. A talk by one of our volunteers, Alastair Ramage, on the poorhouses of Glasgow. It’s on in the stote, 7.30pm start, and you can get tickets on the door or in advance from us. Admission is £2 and all proceeds go to Oxfam.


Other than this, well, donations have risen over the last few weeks, and we are seeing some excellent stuff. We have dedicated a section of our floor to Folio Society publications, mainly due to the enormous collection we recently received (three trips by car). If you’re unfamiliar with these works, they are hardbound, slipcased and illustrated editions of classic works. History, litertature, biography, humour, they cover a lot of subjects. They make perfect gifts and many of the editions no longer reprinted by FS can be quite collectible. Anyway, the upshot is, we currently have a broad range of these titles in excellent condition, sitting on our floor, screaming to be bought. Get them while there still here.


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First off, our fourth Literary Quiz is booked for Tuesday 26th October. As ever, it’s at The 78 on Kelvinhaugh Street, and Derek will be flexing his considerable brain matter to confuse and perplex all teams. I couldn’t attend Quiz III, so I’m looking forward to this. Here’s a copy of the promotional poster:


Next I wanted to mention our hand-made bags, a collaborative venture between volunteers. They’ve sold really well, so much so it’s difficult to keep up with demand. Here’s a selection of a few on display:


Raw figures are in for bookfest 2010. It’s definitely made a significant difference to our book business again this year.  Similar growth to 2009  is in evidence, and this contrasts with sales over the same period in 2007 and 2008 (non Bookfest years). The approach was a little more low-key this year, so it’s good to see that it still brought a unique benefit.  

Lastly, this week saw two fine individual sales, both of which I would have made myself if my bank balance was in healthier shape. First was a gorgeous signed retrospective of Ken Currie, which we pitched for £40. Ken is an important, internationally reknowned artist, and this title is a detailed look at the movement in his output over his career to date. Second, an imposing monograph of Helmut Lang, the photographer, at £100. Thick, oversized, with a comprehensive collection of images, this went to one of our regular customers. Thanks go to the donor – I recall the particular donation – who provided us with these two titles and many more photographic monographs, filling all the shelves of one of our display cabinets.

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Last reminder for our peerless Literary Quiz. In case you missed the previous post, it’s on at the 78 next Tuesday night. We will try to start at 9 sharp so I would recommend getting down earlier to get seated. And again, the 78 serves nice food so well worth heading down for your tea first.

Also, on Thurs night at the bookshop we have Syd Sharp’s bookbinding event. Hands on and lots of fun. More info on this in the last post.

Finally today, we were privileged to have Ian Rankin speak in our store on Sat evening. This was a Bookfest event that had to change venue last-minute. I was on holiday myself that weekend but there are most likely some pictures from the night kicking about and I can ask one of the volunteers who helped out to write-up a post.

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Bookfest 2010 is round the corner. I’ve posted on this a little while back, but to remind, information on the feature events (including  Glasgow) can be found here and on the Oxfam booksite.

We have two events happening at the bookshop. The first is the third happening of our popular Literary Quiz on Tuesday 13th July at the 78 bar on Kelvinhaugh St. Last time round there were more teams than tables and it ended up a great night, so here’s hoping for more of the same. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it is what you might think it is, a quiz about books. Quizmaster Derek put a spin on things last time round, theming rounds about categories as opposed to genres. It may be similar this time, it may be completely different. Only the omniscient quizmaster knows. Teams can be as small as two (or one, if other people simply dilute your brilliance) and as big as can fit round a table. I’ll post start times as soon as I have confirmation but I imagine 8.30 is a safe bet to arrive. Earlier is also good, get yourself a table and sample the excellent beers and food that the 78 have to offer.

The second event is a demonstration in bookbinding by Syd Sharp, former teacher at the Metropolitan College for 30 years. Syd will cover the traditional tools, materials and machines as used by craftspeople in the printing industry over many years eg wood, metal type, adana machines, and hand finishing tools. The demonstration will be interactive too. I don’t have the exact date for this but I will post it as soon as I find out. Having seen Syd’s larger scale event for the Glasgow West End Festival, I can testify this is a really fun and educational couple of hours spent.

Lastly today, our annual postcard sale begins tomorrow. This is a favourite event for many of our customers. We have been stockpiling since the last one so if postcards are your thing, drop by the shop and have a rifle through.

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Some excellent news this week. We received Oxfam Trading’s “League Tables” for 2009/2010. And once again the Glasgow bookshop has the highest NSC of any shop in the whole organisation (NSC is the measure of out net income after all costs). How much are we talking about? Well, in the last financial year we raised £266,166 for Oxfam. Over a quarter of a million pounds. Enough to provide safe water in an emergency to almost half a million people, or desks&chairs to over 17,500 schools.

To our volunteers, customers and donors, John and I would like to extend our sincerest thanks for your hard work, dedication and support. Any Oxfam shop thrives through the interaction of many, many people, and ours is no exception. Here’s to more of the same in 2010/2011.


Books in general performed well last year, as against a relatively slow year of growth in 08/09. The first Oxfam Bookfest had much to do with this change. We saw a spike in donations and real growth in sales, especially in ‘standard’, non-specialised Oxfam shops. And, least we forget, we are about to do it all over again.  Bookfest 2010 runs from the 3rd to the 17th July all over the UK. And shortly before, our partnership with the Hay Festival (27th May to 6th June) also continues (more info here). Local information, happenings and events will be posted on this blog as soon as we start confirming.

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A day like today it would be nice to have a sliding roof, or a porta-shop of sorts to pop on the pavement. Browsing and selling in the sun..

We are in a new financial year as of the 1st April. So it shouldn’t be too long before we find out how we fared overall as against our nearest colleagues&rivals (like WAGs, but CARs, prob won’t catch on)……

We haven’t yet made our business plans for the coming year but no doubt Bookfest will dominate the first half. It will run this year from the 3rd to the 17th July. The web site is not yet available but all the information from last year’s inaugural festival is still up for browsing.

Our affiliation with the Hay Festival also continues this year. If you’re not familiar with it, it’s really worth checking out:


Bookfest is a great opportunity to draw attention to our book offer on every level, nationally, regionally and locally in individual shops. In the Glasgow area we are now devising our strategy for this years Bookfest. I’ll post all the information you need as things take shape.

Now, go enjoy the sun.  

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