Whenever I am off work on annual leave, I normally make a foray to my local Waterstones. I love my local Waterstones, it has the books of course, a nice little coffee outlet upstairs (the healthy eating is a bit lax during the holidays) and there is something peaceful about it. even with all the noise outside, as soon as you step through the doors, the peace of words and sentences and all the new worlds to discover between the covers comes to life.
I normally stand and look at the books near the entrance, and see if anything grabs my eye and then I make my way round the shelves from Z to A where all the fiction books are. Round the two shelves (both sides) dedicated to glorious crime fiction and then round to biography and autobiography. A quick glimpse at Film and TV and then the individual stands which have offers on. I have no interest in fantasy or science fiction so I do give these shelves a miss and only occasionally do I wander into the brightly colourful children’s book area.
As I go round I pick up books that I am particularly looking for, or anything that grabs my eye. But my latest visit, I suddenly felt very very humble and very grateful A number of the books that were prominently displayed are the ones that I probably would have picked up read a few pages and made a decision about reading :
But these books I have had thanks to the lovely publicists who work for publishers. I have discovered authors I would not have probably picked up and others I would have done and have had the privilege of being able to read them a few weeks earlier. I do not want this to sound like I am bragging about the books that I get. I have only asked for a couple of particular requests because I am happy to just see what lands on the doormat and also I think it is a tiny bit rude to be so demanding. It is only since I have been getting more and more into book blogging that I asked a couple of publishers whether I could possibly receive books in return for a review. I have been getting them for around 18 months now. If the books stopped coming tomorrow then that would be fine, I would not stop reading or buying books. Ones that I know I have not read I do pass on to people who I think the books will suit. I can say that in most cases I have picked the right book for the right person! Others I have read and then passed on; The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry was read by me, passed on to my neighbour, who has passed it on to her sister, in turn this has now gone to a work colleague and so the beauty of sharing stories goes on and on. Not only that but I am hoping from me posting about the book on this blog that others are going to have a go at something they may have not considered before.
I wish I could thank the publicists and authors all individually and name them all, but I cannot, which is why I write this ‘thank you’ letter post and hope you realise that I appreciate it greatly and that I hope I do something to help in the promotion of the book.
Special thanks to two people though – Lynsey Dalladay for providing some books for my new Book Club which is still going strong and coming up to its one year anniversary. And the other is Alison Barrow who I got to meet when she came to my local library bringing with her Cath Staincliffe. It was lovely to hear from a publicist who appreciates real readers.
Thank you to them all, I feel very privileged and lucky to have been given the opportunity to read the books. I hope to perhaps meet you all in the future.