Figures show that we are nearing an equilibrium in novel sales between the genders. Almost as many books sell by female authors as books by male authors. The difference according to many book sales charts is as little as one or two percent in both many areas of genre writing and literary fiction. That said, it is hard to shake the feeling when you enter any bookshop that the fiction shelves are populated by fewer female names than male. Could this be a hangover from history? As the shelves aren’t purely populated by modern books, could the sexist history of publishing be maintaining a sexist present in bookselling? I don’t claim to have answers, but it is an interesting issue to query. There is one area of fiction which still inarguably suffers from a very modern gender imbalance, and this is fiction in translation.
What if you couldn’t visit your local bookshop? What if it took you a day’s bed rest to recover from making a pot of a tea? What if you had to choose between washing your hair and reading a chapter? When you are severely disabled even the tiniest task can be a herculean feat.
I’d like to use Independent Bookshop Week as an opportunity for a shout out to all those readers who cannot physically visit our bookshop, or any bookshop, because their disease has robbed them of the opportunity. In particular, this is a shout out to all those living with M.E.
Started in 2009 by Word Power, Edinburgh’s Book Fringe hosts an array of writers to perform, read from and discuss their work, as well as sign books. This year’s Book Fringe will be delivered by three independent bookshops – the Lighthouse, Golden Hare and Edinburgh Bookshop.
This is a unique collaboration that celebrates Edinburgh’s vibrant literary scene and the bookshops that serve the readers all across the city, all year round. Expect free, friendly, intimate events with a fantastic selection of writers, poets and novelists. Previous guests have included Mark Thomas, James Robertson, Amy Liptrot, Helen Fitzgerald, Janice Galloway, Rajah Shehadeh and Marion McCreedy.
As some of you will be aware, the bookshop was recently asked to be a venue for Gilad Atzmon.
Naively I agreed, not knowing much about him and not having much time to decide. Then I cancelled. Then I backtracked and reinstated the event, but I have decided, finally, to formally cancel this event. This decision was surprisingly hard to make, and I would like to explain how we came to it, and why it was important to do so.
The official opening of the Lighthouse Radical Bookshop kicks off at 7.30pm on Tuesday the 9th of May, 2017 – We’ve celebrated the end of an era, now it is time to ring in a new age!
Join us to toast new beginnings, have a nosey, ask questions and hear all about plans for the years ahead. There will be wine, merriment and readings from bookshop favourites – ALL ARE WELCOME.
Our launch night readers are Kirsty Logan, Regi Claire and Daniel Gray, here’s a little more about them.
Word Power Books is steeped in history – a bookshop, publisher, and online store, as well as the host of innumerable events, not least the annual august Book Fringe and the autumn’s Radical Book Fair. Launched in 1994 as a little shop in Edinburgh’s southside by Elaine Henry, the last 23 years have earned Word Power a reputation as a stalwart of the left, staunchly, unapologetically political and socially engaged – a place of hope and engagement.
It is inevitable that if you’ve been open as long as we have, and all you really want to do is talk about books, some TLC and paint can become a little overdue. So the last few weeks have been spent painting and flooring, drilling, sawing and shelving! On April 24th we re-opened a refreshed version of our old self, a bookshop that is bright and airy, with comfy chairs for browsing stacks of books and a boiler always on the go for the next cuppa.