It's the old but justified chestnut again, and I came across this article on Indie publishing on The Guardian blog via the US and Douglas McClennan's daily Arts Journal update which arrives by e mail and it made me stop and think. I'm very aware that I've been chasing the big hitters on here lately, mostly reading the top of the tree in the publishing world and I must return to my humble roots and redress the balance very soon.I've always loved to read and share the books that no one else is reading and finding them was always the big difficulty. 3 for 2s and Richard & Judy, Orange, Booker et al means that it's all too easy to read what the publishers and the hype dictate. I used to moan it was almost impossible to track down the hidden treasures, but I really do have no excuse now, Jim the postman brings them by the armful; books from small publishers and authors and once the dust settles on forthcoming literary festivals and the Bookerthon I shall be turning my attention to them in earnest. Who can resist a book called Soft Words Butter No Parsnips after all?
Meanwhile Dartington beckons.
I've handed over my caseload at work and I have the next two weeks in which to play so just a few minor in-house domestic arrangements to share.
Things will be a bit different at dovegreyreader scribbles for the next fortnight. Posts will go onto intermittent as and when and perhaps several shorter posts per day or a longer gap depending on the technology as I trip around Dartington. I'll be listening, scribbling, snapping and generally soaking up the atmosphere to transmit your way.
I even got really carried away and stupidly thought I could cope with super-techno and move into mobile broadband, silly me, what on earth was I thinking?
I don't hold out much hope of success, so far I've been on the phone to India for longer than I care to think about trying to sort it out. It's all a terrible palaver as they ask for the 300 digit number on the reverse of the dongly modem thingy each time and that happens to be just underneath where I've stuck the exceptionally sticky bit of velcro thoughtfully provided to attach the dongly thing to the laptop.
Then there's an awful lot of 'now please shut your computer down'...'now please restart your computer' and we hum for hours while it all slows itself down to a crawl.They are unfailingly polite but obviously can't deviate from the script and keep telling me to
"Try it out in an area that is red on the map because mauve means fluctuating then ring us again and we will help you."
"But mauve and fluctuating was deemed good enough when I conversed with you at length prior to purchase."
"Try it out in an area that is red on the map because mauve means fluctuating then ring us again ...."
"But the nearest red place seems to be Birmingham"
"Try it out in an area that is red on the map because mauve means fluctuating..."
"In other words this is rubbish in Devon."
"Try it out in an area that is red on the map ..."
Bless them all.
It'll be cancelled and going back, I just know it.
Instant posting often prone to more typos and hideous grammatical errors than usual so apologies, but I am on holiday so I hope the Truss-ites can see their way to cutting me some slack.
If you are going to be there do stop me and say hi, I'll be easy to spot, like a carrier dove carting around books, laptop, camera, snoozing out on the terraces over at the Tilting Yard, you know the sort of thing.
Events kick off with the Festival Launch Lunch tomorrow followed by Martin Bell talking about his latest book The Truth That Sticks followed by James and Ben Long talking to Penelope Lively about The Plot Against Pepys. It's true to say I'm raring to go and thrilled to be taking all of you along too.
First things first though, go and find your tartan blanket and small head pillow for our daily siestas here.