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A date has been booked for out fifth Literary Quiz (these are a regular occurance now so I guess I should drop the numbering). It will be on Tuesday 22nd February in its usual venue, The 78, on Kelvinhaugh Street. Quizmaster Derek likes to change things up from quiz to quiz, as regulars will know, so center your chi and bring an open mind. And if you haven’t been before, it’s a predominantly literary quiz, branching out into related genres and sometimes film or other crossover topics . Prizes for the highest placed teams and decent food on offer if you want to get there early. Not a bad idea as it can be busy. Start time is usually 9 o’ clock, give or take.

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A word of thanks and congratulations to Hyndland Primary School who raised £1700 pounds to purchase an Unwrapped classroom from us this week. I believe they organised a sponsored pirate treasure hunt. All credit to them, it’s a huge sum of money and it’s a generous and considerate gesture to use it for this end. Well done kids!

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The new bookshop at Royal Exchange Square in Merchant City is due to open, hopefully by next week. The manager, Gillian, previously worked at the Ayr shop, and I think she’ll do a great job. It’s a smaller unit than ours, about a third the size of our shop (going by numbers of books) but it’s very stylish and striking. They’ll concentrate on high quality non-academic non-fiction and fiction offers, possibly offering some academic stock when the demand is high for that. I recommend a visit when it’s up and running.

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Less than a week to go to our quiz. The blogpost for it has seen a lot of views and the flyers in the store have been shifting, so here’s hoping for a good turnout. Just to say again, I put 8.30 on the posters to give us all time to get prepared and settle in but the quiz itself won’t start until 9.

To follow up the annual crime-month promotion we have decided to run a feature on vintage kids books and Ladybird titles. We’ve been stockpiling Ladybirds for a few months and there’s a decent selection on offer. Sales are brisk so if you’re a collector come done and have a browse sooner rather than later. Thanks go to Susan and Anne for merchandising and maintaining the range.

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We are back.

Hello to 2010. Remember all those Christmasses where you looked out the window at clear roads and green lawns and thought ‘wish it would snow, this is not very Christmassy’. Yes? Well…

Plenty to blog about in the upcoming months. Cliffnotes:

Annual crime month – annual postcard sale – retro kids sale (including large collection of ladybird books) – second literary quiz: raising funds for Haiti –  Oxfam Bookfest 2010

We also hope to improve our online presence, driving more traffic to this blog, making more use or twitter and facebook to inform and promote and increasing awareness of our ebay and amazon selling points (any veteran bloggers/e-sellers out there feel free to share tips!).

There’ll be more as it happens but that’s the bones of it for now.  Stay posted now..

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I spent two very relaxing days in Manchester this weekend past and I made time to visit some Oxfam shops there, namely Oxfam Emporium and Oxfam Originals on Oldham Street. The emporium was unfortunately shutting by the time I got out of the clothes shop so I had to content myself with window browsing. Had I not spent an agonising half-hour in Originals vacillating over two excellent pairs of shoes which, however much I wanted them to, just didn’t fit, I may have found time to foot-browse both. Anyway I found the clothes store trendy and accessible, with superb stock-lines. It’s the first ‘Originals’ shop I’ve seen. Gets my thumbs up.

At the bookshop we’re in the little calm before the Christmas run-in. One thing we are really trying to punt is gift aid as it applies to donated stock.  A lot of customers are already familiar with this idea as it pertains to donations of money, but we (and a number of other charities) are now able to collect gift aid on books, music, bric-a-brac, whatever we sell. It’s a great scheme and it enables the shop to get 28p in the pound back. It’s extra money which goes straight into the kitty which means more to hand for our international work. So please be sure to fill out a gift aid form when you next donate to an Oxfam store. It’s very much worth the minute or two extra that it takes.

News from Oxfam:

The climate change page has been updated at the oxfam site. This is to recognise that December and Copenhagen are looming and it’s really, really crucial that information gets out about what’s at stake and that as many people as possible get mobilised to become involved. Ideas for contributing and getting motivated, including the excellent new pound-a-week idea, are laid out in an easily understood way.  Please visit folks.

Also, Jamie Hewlett, the artist behind Tank girl and Gorillaz, has painted a series of watercolours reflecting his experience of Bangladesh where he travelled recently with Oxfam.

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Yes, a chunk of our own cookery stock has passed audition and will star in David Mackenzie’s “Last Word”. None of the books were available for comment at the time of writing (they’re in a box en route to the set) but a source close to the books (me, like) said they were ecstatic and looking forward to the experience. They will return to their day job here next weekend, to raise money and find a new home.

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Shop updates

Having run back to back weeks of successful 3 for 2 promotions on the crime and sci-fi paperback sections, we have decided to include science-fiction and extend it for one more week on all three sections!! Make the most of it folks.

The postcard sale is winding down (very pleased with this year’s) and we are slowly beginning the shift toward the christmas season. All of our dated lines (2010 diaries, calendars, family organisers) are on display and a selection of our Christmas cards will be out in the next week. 

Also, with Fresher’s Fairs beginning this week, we will be concentrating on getting the best of our academic stock out into the sales and display areas. This year we have joined up with the clothes and music stores on Byres road to offer 10% off donated stock in any of the stores. We have flyers detailing the promotion and we will be handing them out at Glasgow Uni this week, Strathclyde and Caledonian Uni’s next week.

Finally, a teaser: a special loyalty promotion is on the way. This will be something that can benefit any of our bookshop customers so stay posted for more details.

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Interesting article here regarding new social media and book sales. Our main motivation  for blogging etc was really to share info with our customer case and create a new way for them to feel a part of the store and the organisation. Though the idea of using these sites to try to actually sell books is interesting.

http://followthereader.wordpress.com/2009/06/24/do-twitter-and-blogs-really-drive-book-sales/#comment-486

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