Weekend bookish and other rambling

I am in a book reviewing rut! With the exception of Piranesi (which will surely be my book of the year), I read it a couple of days ago and wrote a long review for Shiny immediately, I’m finding it hard to get to grips with my other pile of books read, but not yet written about – all worthy of writing about too.

The reason why is, I’m so worried about the situation in Leeds where my daughter at uni is now under additional local restrictions. It’s not a full lockdown – yet – but that’s just a matter of time. There are enough covidiots there to put everyone at risk – they just don’t realise the impact of what they’re doing. I’m watching the new MSOA map like a hawk – but it lags the stats by 4 days. You can see the whole of Liverpool, Gtr Manchester, Yorkshire, the NE and Birmingham etc – areas of great student concentrations turning deeper shades of blue indicating more +ve tests daily.

Meanwhile, although I’ve not posted in a week, my blog is still getting a good number of hits – due in part to the ‘Bythell effect’ which I wrote about a while ago here – it’s the post that keeps on giving! He’s got a new book out in November – Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops – it appears to be a small hardback (144 pages), aimed at the Christmas market I’d wager. Naturally, I’d like to read it. (You can pre-order it here via my affiliate link!)

What was lovely this week, was that I met a friend in a local coffee shop – my first such outing since the March lockdown. Of course I’ve been out to the shops, but I have not socialised at all. My friend Mark, who used to run my favourite local indie bookshop, has an amazing new job in the book trade. I am delighted for him and it was exciting to hear about his plans and the imminent launch of this new initiative he is involved in. Watch this space as they say!

With the recent collapse of the book wholesaler Bertram’s who supplied indie bookshops, it was wonderful to see Booktime magazine which they produced, back in my local indie bookshops. This great freebie has been taken over by the Booksellers Association and the first edition under the new management is now in indie bookshops. A welcome return indeed.

Lastly, there’s a new bookshop in town – well in north Oxford. Daunt Books have recently opened a new branch in Summertown. I’m told it is rather wonderful, and it is great to have a bookshop back there since the closure of the old indie some time ago. I can feel an expedition coming on one evening after work – as it’s open until 6pm Mon-Sat, and 5pm on Sundays.

That’s the end of my ramblings for today. I shall close by sending all the responsible students grappling with the rapidly changing COVID situation my very best wishes. So many of my friends have their youngsters in the same situation at uni – we’re all thinking of you all of the time.

17 thoughts on “Weekend bookish and other rambling

  1. kaggsysbookishramblings says:

    Oh Annabel, what a worry it must be for you. It’s beyond me why people aren’t being more sensible, but I’m sure your daughter is and all will be fine.

    As for the new bookshop – lucky you! I look forward to a report and some pictures!

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I know most students are responsible, especially once the situation is explained ‘properly’ to them – but there is so much conflicting info going around, and there are the irresponsible ones… It’s very worrying.
      I will certainly try to get to the new bookshop soon!

  2. Laura says:

    I’m so sorry to hear your daughter is caught up in all of this, Annabel. It’s such a horrible time for students, especially freshers.

  3. A Life in Books says:

    So sorry it’s such a worrying time for you, Annabel. I hope your daughter stays safe and well.

    I’m so amused by the Blytell effect! Perhaps some streaming/TV bods will sign him up for an adaptation.

    I wonder if Daunts might set up over here in Bath one day…

  4. Cathy746books says:

    This must be such a worrying time Annabel. Our town (Ballymena) is currently under localised lockdown, but we have been really careful so it hasn’t made much difference.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I’m sitting in leafy Oxfordshire, which is low risk, but the reports from all the student cities make for scary reading. I have no sympathy for those putting everyone else at risk, so there!

  5. Rebecca Foster says:

    I hope the news from Leeds improves. We heard this weekend about some local parents heading to Cardiff to see their kids before the uni locks down. I won’t be surprised at all if Reading doesn’t see out the whole term with partially in-person teaching.

    We went to have lunch, a walk and tea with friends in High Wycombe yesterday. It was the first time we’ve socialized properly with anyone apart from my in-laws, and very welcome.

    I got the Bythell stocking stuffer from Profile and will probably start it today. It’s the sort of thing one could polish off over a coffee.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      She got first in-person teaching today. It’ll be mixed. But at least not locked in yet. It is so lovely to meet with friends properly distanced and all that. Hope the Bythell doesn’t do what Adam Kay did with his little book – and spend the whole time mentioning his first book! 🙂

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Certainly is. Lectures started today in small groups for my daughter, so a bit happier – but the halls situation is a but febrile.

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