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Posts Tagged ‘Events’

Here are some photos (a few from the Ian Rankin event as promised) from our Bookfest 2010 events. Syd Sharp’s event was excellent. He took his audience through the different processes involved in hand-making books, from the folding of paper through stitching, binding and finishing. Syd is an engaging and experienced host and hopefully we will have him back another time to show us more as 2 hours is only a drop in the ocean of what’s involved in this fascinating subject.

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Our literary quiz was also held last week. As always, many thanks to our question setter and quizmaster Derek for his excellent and well pitched event and to the 78 for hosting us. We had another good turn-out  and we will definitely continue this event on a regular basis.

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Well, kind of. For this financial year anyway. A few weeks to go to, the last push. It’s a significant spell in any year. We all get quite competitive over time and we want to see the shops we work in do as well as possible, both in themselves and also against similar shops in the chain. I won’t risk incurring a jinx by stating here what we in the bookshop are hoping for. I’ll wait till the year-end results are in.

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Over the month we will be featuring some of our antiquarian and ex-eBay stock in a prominent, expanded space in the shop. Our vintage kids books sale, now in its last few days, will make way. There should be some very nice offerings in this offer of rarer stock, so local readers, please swing by.

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Oxfam now have enough money to fund our response to the earthquake, both for the emergency phase and the recovery phase. Shops alone raised over £1m for our own appeal and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal. Everyone who donated can feel very good indeed to have contributed to such a fantastic response. Here are some updates on the situation:

Challenges:
– Hundreds of thousands of people are still living in camps, which are crowded and dirty, with poor waste disposal and sanitation (though we can be proud that over 20% of all latrines built since the earthquake were built by Oxfam).
– The rainy season will start in April and hurricane season begins in June. The rain could not only soak people’s flimsy shelters but also spread sewage, increasing the risk of waterborne disease such as cholera.

Achievements
– We are providing clean water to 82,000 people living in camps. We do this in co-ordination with other charities and eight out of ten of the 850,000 people in need of clean water now have it.
– We are employing engineers to assess the stability of buildings which did not fall down and decide whether it is safe for people to move back in.
– We are reaching 20,000 people with cash-for-work programmes. For example, we are paying 16-21 year olds to make up family kits containing basics for cooking and washing. These have gone to 10,000 households so far. The people packing the kits receive 500 gourdes a day (about $12.25), which is well above the local minimum wage.
– We have opened 5 school canteens
– We are identifying small local businesses such as plumbers, bakers and electrical businesses which we can help to start work again.

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Our second literary quiz was a great success last night. The turnout was about double this time round: I think I counted 15 teams, which is excellent. 

When I arrived shortly after 8 there wasn’t a seat to be had. Being naturally the-glass-is-neither-half-full-or-empty type, I was a little anxious that dinner-goers might be unlikely to clear out when we started. Turns out most of the seated were waiting for us anyway. Any remaining free chairs and the bar were taken by late arriving teams.  And we were off.

Kudos to Derek, our quizsetter and mc for the night. I think he’s a cool head for proceedings and the quiz he set was by turns challenging, frustrating and fiendish (ie, too hard for thicko here). Two teams emerged as frontrunners after the first three rounds and though a few others made up some ground in the second half, it was these same two teams that contested the first prize. In the end it came down to a single question to seperate them. So well done to the winners and runners up, but a big thanks to everyone who participated. (FYI, the shop managers, John and I, took part for fun and performed fairly pathetically, finishing in the mid-low end of the main pack. I think we scored somewhere in the 50’s, the winning score being 102).

We also held a raffle with proceeds going to Haiti. First prize was some very nice literary volumes courtesy of the shop, second prize was a set of steak knives (no, it wasn’t. Since Glengarry Glen Ross, I can’t say the sentence “second prize is/was..” any other way. Second prize was a gift bag of Fair Trade). Anyway, we raised about £120 for our ongoing work in Haiti.

Finally, a big thanks to the staff of the 78, who had more to contend with than I think they expected. Service was fast and friendly all night long. We hope they’ll have us back as we are definitely making this a regular event, probably every couple of months/quarterly.

And even though it’s for pride alone on my part, I’m getting some study in before the next one..

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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 at the 78 for our second literary quiz night. It’s happening Tues March 9th, quiz itself to start at 9 so Iwould suggest getting there a little earlier. We pretty much filled the place last time.

Derek will be smoothly quizmastering again. The format will follow the first: rounds on general literature, scottish lit, crime, childrens. We have yet to determine the prizes but there will be first and second place and a special raffle prize with the proceeds going to Haiti. All in all, should be a great night. The 78 is veggie and a nice place for a swift half-shandy or two (some decent imported beers too I think), so anyone wanting to make a night of it by all means come and get your tea there first.  Hope to see some of you good folk looking to show off your knowledge.

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Shop news this week:

Our crime promotion is going along nicely, plenty of donation and good sales. Following it, we will have a retro kids/ladybird book sale. We’ve been stockpiling ladybirds for a few months so collectors keep an eye out in March.

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The DEC appeal for the dire situation in Haiti has naturally overshadowed the ongoing Oxfam fundraising campaign. No doubt it will still be vital to help Haiti prepare for a future with a more unstable climate, so unless the campaigns are changed or conflated, our Haiti/literary quiz will go ahead as planned at the end of February(exact date to be confirmed). Money from that, combined with donations collected instore, will go to this climate change fund, and not disaster relief.
It’s a brutal irony that it has taken a major catastrophe to root the plight of Haiti in the public consciousness. We hope that a co-ordinated relief effort can soon work to full capacity to help these people rebuild their lives.

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