Posts Tagged ‘indie’

Putting paid to notions that it takes years to write a book (damn! There goes my excuse) is the 24 Hour Book Project, a groundbreaking new initiative that’s challenging a bunch of writers, editors and publishers to take a book from pie-in-the-sky concept to published material in JUST ONE DAY.
The 24 Hour Book Project
The brainchild of the folks over at Completely Novel , the 24 Hour Book Project will kick off with a group of experienced writers putting their heads together via online collaborative writing tools. The squad includes Kate Pullinger (who’ll be heading up the project as the lead writer), Sarah Butler and Chris Meade, with the narrative being based around a group of city centre allotments, the exploration of communal spaces and the literal and symbolic walls built and smashed by individuals within a community.

Pens hit paper tomorrow (3rd October) from 10am, with volunteer editors and publishers taking the baton on Sunday to take the story to publication. And the best bit is that not only can you follow it all live online, but you can get involved – throw suggestions into the mix via Twitter (follow @24hrbook and use the hashtag #24hrbook); upload media including videos, music and images here; or help edit the book online from 10am BST on Sunday (email 24hrbook@completelynovel.com for the skinny on that.)

If that all sounds too much like hard work but your not averse to quaffing free champers, you might still be able to bag yourself a ticket for the book’s launch on Monday 5th October, 6pm, at Soho’s House of St Barnabas, where you’ll also be able to buy a copy of the book and see highlight’s of the weekend’s frantic authoring activity.

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It’s the cherry on top of one of Bristol’s most spirited spots – where jolly, jeering street drinkers rock beneath crumbling walls sporting Banksy originals; afternoon gig-goers spill out onto pavements from cafes-cum-gig venues to puff on their rollies; the spitting hiss of vats and vats of boiling oil sizzles from rows of red-topped takeaways to mingle with wheeze of rattling spray paint cans over the engine growls and scooter-horn squeals of the humming Gloucester Road. Ahh… Stokes Croft – the Here Gallery and Bookshop.

Since its doors were opened by siblings Ben and Kate O’Leary in 2003, not-for-profit creative cooperative Here has been bringing art books, small-press publications, comics and a whole host of crafty cuts to the folks of Bristol and beyond. And that’s not all; the shop sits above Here’s gallery space, which is currently exhibiting The Joyful Bewilderment from The Outcrowd Collective.
 Outcrowd Collective poster
Here Bookshelf

You are Here: Ben

You are Here: Ben

And 2008 saw the Here family branching out there and everywhere – well Falmouth, to be precise. “As well as providing a welcoming atmosphere, and a meeting place for like minded individuals, Here and Now [showcases] new artwork from local students and established artists,” says Kate O’Leary, who’s at the helm in Falmouth while Ben steers the good ship Here back in Bristol. Wish you were here? Check out the Flickr feed for a guided tour.

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Found: brilliant little book stall pushing brilliant little books, from processions of spotless old Penguins to stacks of sparkling modern hardbacks. Saturdays on Bristol’s Wine Street and Sundays at the Tobacco Factory Market.



Lost: £4.50 on this perfect 1962 Pelican first-edition of William Morris’s writing and designs. Oh, and a stinker of a hangover. Mighty indeed.


Footnotes: The Mighty Miniature is captained by Richard. Richard likes sperm whales and stamping inky images of birds onto brown paper bags to give away with his books.

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Mr Bs Frontage

Bath’s Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights – this week’s jackpot – sets The Bind’s detector beeping not only on account of its fantastic moniker; its 2008 Independent Bookshop of the Year accolade; its ‘bibliotherapy’ room, replete with battered, comfy armchairs and help-yourself coffee; the Tintin cartoon strip wallpaper sidling up to the staircase… 

Mr Bs Chairs

Mr Bs Bibliotherapy

Mr Bs Bath

Mr Bs Stairs

Mr Bs Window Display

… and its loyalty cards; the brilliant author events and book groups; the chatty Mr B’s folks, who’ll order any book you like to land on Mr B’s doormat in just a couple of days; their lists (and I do love a good list)…

Mr Bs Lists

Mr Bs Mugs

… and their sock monkeys…

Mr Bs Monkey

… oh no. The true feather in Mr B’s cap is Vlashka, who, when not providing her unique brand of tail-waggingly attentive customer service in the shop (as, unfortunately, she wasn’t on the day of The Bind’s visit) is updating her Vanity Page or trying to fit in meet-and-greets with her celebrity fans between dog biscuits. Watch this space for future Vlashka book signing announcements.

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WalcotMart books and shakers

WalcotMart shop

WalcotMart - book about nothing


Pavement arrow

Ladybird Books shelf

Modern Toss


The first ever ‘Discovery of the Week’ crown is donned by Bath’s WalcotMart and its Artists’ Book Fair, timed to coincide with the closing weekend of the Bath Literature Festival.


The shop is stunning (keep your ears to the cobbles – otherwise known as WalcotMart’s Facebook group – for news of music, film and Subutteo football soirees) and the team who run it are fab (although my being distracted by a teapot necklace meant that I forgot to ask their names. Everything stops for tea…)

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Congratulations and the bumps to The Big Green Bookshop in London’s Wood Green, which turns one this week. The indie book seller opened its doors in the wake of the local Waterstones shutting up shop because, apparently, “people in Wood Green don’t read.”

This video of the Big Green volunteers (uploaded by the Big Green gents to YouTube) whipping the place into shape makes the prospect of swapping your desk chair for a library ladder more appealing than ever…

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