• We Have Moved

    The blog has moved. You can find it at or by clicking here. Please update your settings, as they say. We'd had a lot of complaints that people weren't managing to leave comments because the system was faulty - the only people that seemed to manage to get through on a regular basis were pornographers, celebrity booksellers, and Taul Paul. Odd. Anyway please come and say hello to us at our new home, which, as you'll see, is rather on the dark side...

  • What a coincidence...

    We have just launched our online shop. You can find it here. By coincidence, Waterstones have also just announced the launch of their online shop, due to go live in the Autumn. Given certain debates that have been taking place on this site of late, shall we just say how glad we are to see Waterstones making such a brave move and that we wish them every success? And let's just leave it at that, shall we?

  • A touchy feminist writes:

    Yesterday, the Guardian published a list of "fifty books you must read", which you can find here. (They resisted the temptation, at least, to add the words "before you die". I once had a customer looking with sadness at just such an entitled book, saying how perfect a gift it would be for her father-in-law, if only he wasn't seriously ill in hospital.) The uniting theme of this particular list-building exercise is that all of the books in question have been turned into movies. It's a pretty unremarkable list, so once you have entertained yourself for the full twenty seconds that it affords, you can do what I did, and count the number of books written by women. Then count the number of books in which women are raped, murdered, or purchased for sex. Guess which there are more of. No surprise to this touchy feminist.

  • Putting Kierkegaard aside for one moment...

    I hate to lower the tone, but did anybody else think that the plot of yesterday's Doctor Who was a blatant steal from The Time Traveller's Wife?

  • Disaster!

    On Sunday the shop is going to be destroyed by a tidal wave. But I'm cool. Why? It's only a film...

    The shop just has to stand there and look scared while extras run about screaming and trying to close the shutters (not so easy as they are rusty old buggers).

    It's a TV film called The Flood and it's a disaster movie about a tidal surge that takes out central London. Not exactly Notting Hill I know. I doubt very much that Japanese tourists will come to pay homage at C & P or anything like that.

    Still, having a couple of million people watch C & P be destroyed by a tidal wave has to be good. I mean all publicity is good publicity right?

  • Can't leave well enough alone

    As if we didn't have enough work to do already...

    We've gone and re-designed our website to celebrate our online shop going live this weekend. So if you head over to you'll be able to read these posts from the comfort of a groovy window in the middle of our page.

  • Warning: this post contains immoderate SHOUTING



    Stickers! Stickers have reared their ugly heads yet again!

    I hate them hate them hate them hate them HATE THEM. But at least you can peel them off. OR SO I THOUGHT. Obviously, we have previously discussed the horror of over-enthusiastic sticker glues, but there are ways around this. Principally - you read it here first - Windowlene. So I was still on top of it. I had inappropriately-applied chemical cleaning products on my side. I was winning the sticker war.


    Today, a nice little pile of National Short Story Prize collections arrived for display on our tillpoint, with a simple but effective cover design listing the authors involved, and a tacky "As Heard On BBC Radio 4" sticker on the top right corner.

    Well. Clearly we are not leaving that on.

    Off I go with my expert sticker-removal technique (patent pending). And........


    It wasn't a sticker. It was a sticker-sized, sticker-shaped, sticker-mimicking irremovable part of the cover design.

    I've had this before, with Richard and Judy. (They won't take my calls.) But you'd expect that from those two publicity hounds. The BBC is supposed to be above that sort of thing. The BBC is supposed to be classy. The BBC is supposed to be public service broadcasting, for crying out loud.

    This is grounds for withholding of license fee.

  • Occupational Hazards

    Wow, you start losing a bit of interest in this blog thing - other distractions like the taxman have kept us busy lately - and then a little duststorm kicks off and it all becomes a bit lively again. Great!

    I guess our W rants were getting a little stale but as two former employees (one of us at 2 branches) it was bound to be an issue at the forefront of our minds.

    Not to mention the reason we started the shop in the first place. After many drunken pub discussions we just thought we could do a better job than anyone else. Why would we go through 18 months of anxiety, stress and sleepless nights if we didn't feel the urge to sound off now and again about our sense of destiny! I'm sure as the years roll by and as the debts get paid all will be sunlight and roses.

    Anyway, even when we do try and be nice to the corporates (see my post below on Barnes and Noble) we get top US bookseller Andy Laties putting us right! Can't win, can ya?

    So for other (more balanced?) blogs on what is really a very small world of publishing and bookselling check out these pages.

    Our compadre in Crystal Palace
    Grumpy Old Bookman
    Our old boss at Macmillan (Pan Bookshop Old Boys)
    Mr. Laties
    The frankly terrifying (too many memories...)

    ...and many others you'll be able to peruse from these guys.

    Who's got time for work when there's all this to get through every day.

  • My New Best Friend Pt 2

    We all know about how my number one number on my Friends and Family is work. Now, see the new horror: I have recently moved and was just sending out a change of address e-mail, when I found myself filling in my work address instead of my home address. Apparently I now live at 119-120 Lower Marsh.

    Next time: how I answer the home phone with "Crockatt & Powell, good afternoon."

  • Elif Shafak

    On the 30th May at 6pm we are thrilled to welcome Elif Shafak to Crockatt & Powell.

    Elif Shafak is the author of Flea Palace - a long term inhabitant of the C & P table. Her new novel The Gaze won the Turkish Writers' Association Best Novel of the Year award in 2001 and is released in the UK at the end of the month.

    Elif is in the UK as part of the Women in the Middle East Literature Tour 2006. (Click the highlighted text for more details)

    This is going to be a great event. Book a place now by e-mailing



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