Monday, 15 October 2012

Four Years of Books Books Books

Lausanne's English Bookshop Celebrates its 4-year Anniversary

I remember August 2008. I gave up my job and rented a space in Holmes Place which I planned to turn into a bookshop. Some days I whirled around making booklists, ordering furniture and speaking to suppliers. Other days I watched the shadows move across the floor, paralysed by indecision.

Can I do this?
Is this a mistake?
What happens if....?

4 years is a long time. The shop has experienced stomach-lurching drops and vertigo-inducing highs. We've yet to have a day where we've made no sales, although we have been close. Other days we've had five people working flat out to get the work done.

Do I wish it was easier? Yes, all the time. Do I stop to think about what I've achieved? No, never. Like many businesses the gap between success and failiure is too slim. Do I feel like celebrating? Yeeeerrrrsssss!

Join me for a cocktail on November 6th at 7pm at the bookshop. Diccon Bewes will be speaking about his books - Swiss Watching and the recently-released Swisscellany.

Sign up here

See you then!

Monday, 1 October 2012

What do these books have in common?

Can you see what these books share?

  •  The Giver By Lois Lowry
  •  Where the Sidewalk Ends By Shel Silverstein
  •  Catch-22 By Joseph Heller
  • To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee
Not sure? How about if I add these:
  •  Fahrenheit 451 By Ray Bradbury 
  •  Slaughterhouse-Five  By Kurt Vonnegut
  •  Leaves of Grass By Walt Whitman
  •  The Master and Margarita By Mikhail Bulgakov
  •  The Catcher In the Rye By J.D. Salinger
Need a couple more....
  •  The Handmaid's Tale By Margaret Atwood
  •  Ulysses By James Joyce
  •  Native Son By Richard Wright
  • A Wrinkle in Time By Madeleine L'Engle
 I am sure with these titles you'll be able to guess:
  • Animal Farm: A Fairy Story By George Orwell
  •  Lolita By Vladimir Nabokov
  •  Brave New World By Aldous Huxley
  •  The Satanic Verses By Salman Rushdie

That's right, they've all been banned at one time or another. Apparently, Where The Sidewalk Ends  was banned in some school libraries because it , “suggests drug use, the occult, suicide, death, violence, disrespect for truth, disrespect for legitimate authority, rebellion against parents.” 

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the most frequently challenged or ban books are the Harry Potter Series because of - and I am paraphrasing - "its themes of death and resurrection.. depictions of potions and other hocus pocus [and] celebration of witchcraft."

I am mentioning this because it is the Banned Books Week, the ALA's annual celebration of the freedom of speech. This year it is running from September 30th−October 6th.

BBB is joining the celebration and is offering a 35% discount on any of the ALA's top 100 banned books. You can find the list here -  contact the bookshop if you want to order.  The offer's good until October 6th.