Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Civilised Saturday

This year, a number of Bookshops are holding what is being described as "Civilised Saturday", which is being sold as "an antithesis to Black Friday.
Now, I'm all for a bit of civilised behaviour, but as a business, i'd be absolutely delighted if the shop was completely mobbed out with customers all day on Friday, picking up lots and lots of brilliant books.
(artist's impression)

I kind of understand the idea of "Civilised Saturday", which is why we're holding Sausage Saturday (a chance for people to spend lots of money here and also enjoy some lovely food supplied by local businesses), but I think that any opportunity should be taken advantage of.
Sorry if this seems a bit greedy, but as well as being a lovely bookshop that tries to support and celebrate its local area, we are also a shop who wants to be profitable and BUSY.
So maybe, just maybe, we'll be offering a few tasty little bargains on Friday too.
Shoot me (don't shoot me).

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Email Vouchers Available from us.

Email Vouchers
Available at the Big Green Bookshop
 A Big Green Bookshop Email Voucher.
Just get in touch with us, let us know how much you'd like to give and we can send that special someone an Email Voucher. The lucky recipient will get an email from us telling them that you've bought them a voucher to spend at the Big Green Bookshop. They can then choose books and we'll get them and post them (FREE P+P in the UK), whenever they choose to redeem it. 
What a treat, eh? 
Telephone; 020 8881 6767

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Recommend a book for us to stock at Christmas (please) and WIN BIG!!!

You like books, yeah?
Excellent. So do we.

We want the shop to be chockablock with gorgeous books this year and we'd really appreciate it if you could help us to choose some of them please?

We've started displaying a load of fantastic books that we think our customers will love, but we'd like you to help us improve our selection.

Is there a book you'd like to get this Christmas? 
Is there a book you think people should be buying this Christmas?

If so, please get in touch with the title of the book and a very short review (less than 30 words if possible). We'll then use your review to advertise the book in the Bookshop on one of those little recommends cards. You will even be name checked on the card (yes, you will be FAMOUS!).

A bit like this

Email us at
Tweet us at @biggreenbooks

Not only that, but ONE lucky person who sends us a review will win £20 (that's twenty pounds) to spend at the shop! (if you don't live nearby, we'll post your books to you).

We'll be taking suggestions until the end of November.

Ta very much.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wood Green Calling BIRMINGHAM, Come in Birmingham

We need help

Are you, or do you know anyone, who's based near Birmingham and would you like to work from 10.30am-4.30pm on Friday November 6th-Sunday November 8th? 

If so, please read on.

Next weekend, from November 6th until 8th I (Simon) will be at Birmingham NEC selling books at Cake International, one of the UK's biggest baking and cake shows.
We've done a few cake shows and, believe me when I say they are BUSY. Last year at Birmingham, around 20,000 turned up to watch decorating demonstrations, meet celebrity chefs and generally get all cakey. It's lots of fun and I love doing it.
Now then. Yesterday, I got a phone call asking if we could be the official bookshop at another event in London, on the same weekend.
Of course, I said yes. Because if you're a little bookshop in Wood Green, the opportunity to sell books at events like this are few and far between and we need the dosh!

Are you still with me? Good.

We need TWO people at Cake International in Birmingham and TWO people at this other show.

It's going to be a lot easier for us to cover the other show, as it's in London and we have magnificent customers locally, who will hopefully be able to help.

Birmingham however, may prove tricky, which is why I'm asking if you can help. I'll be there, but I need someone else to help me.

If you are friendly, sensible and can help me out, that'd be amazing. It'll be about 6 hours work a day and we're happy to pay you £150 for the weekend. It's pretty full on, but it's also quite a good laugh.

If you're interested, please give us a call on 020 8881 6767.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Calais Jungle Library - HELP!

OK then. We've been raising money and collecting books to donate to the "Jungle Library" in the Calais refugee camp. 

So far, we've raised over £2,500 and we have a ton load of books kindly donated by people from all over the country. We're still getting around twenty parcels a day with books to take to Calais. 

Image result for help

Here are three things;

  1. We need help sorting the books out. If you are free tomorrow (Thursday) and can spare an hour or two, please get in touch. 020 8881 6767. 
  2. We spoke to Mary Jones, the person looking after the Library and she is currently in the position where she's got plenty of fiction and kids books (in English) at the library. A lot of what's been donated is fiction and kids stuff, so we suggested to her that we have a mammoth sale of all the second stuff we've got and add that to the money that we're raising for her. She LOVED this idea, so we are having a....  
Image result for "pay what you like"

From Friday 18th September until Sunday 20th September

you can choose up to 6 books and pay as little as 1p for each (YOU MONSTER). You could pay a tenner for each too, but that's up to you.
We have well over 3,000 secondhand books here all looking to go to good homes.
We're hoping for sunny few days so that we can get the tables and boxes outside.

     3. I'm going to Calais on Monday 21st September to deliver the books we have and also to meet Mary and to give her some dosh. We've persuaded the lovely people at ZIPCAR to let us have a van, and we've (I think) persuaded the BBC to let us borrow a camera, so we can film our journey. 
Neither Tim or I drive, but the lovely Mark White, aka MarkyMarket is very kindly giving up his time and is going to help me get the books to Calais. 

This is all very exciting and I can't wait to meet Mary. Our aim is for this not to be a one-off thing. We'd like to keep our link with the library in Calais and continue to work with  Mary to ensure that at the very least, there is always a well stocked library at the camp. 

Thank you. 

The Suffragettes. A panel discussion. Thursday October 15th - 7.00pm


We're delighted to be able to put on a fantastic panel event at the shop to coincide with the release of the new film "SUFFRAGETTE", starring Helena Bonham-Carter, Meryl Streep and Carey Mulligan.
We have three amazing authors here, who will be discussing the suffragette movement and the importance it played.
The authors are;
Lyndsey Jenkins
Lyndsey's book, 'Lady Constance Lytton: Aristocrat, Suffragette, Martyr' is a fascinating look at the life of one the more unlikely suffragettes. Daughter of a Viceroy of India and a lady in waiting to the Queen. She grew up in the family home of Knebworth and in embassies around the world…
Katherine Connelly
Author of 'Sylvia Pankhurst: Suffragette, Socailist and Scourge of the Empire'. In this vivid biography Katherine Connelly examines Pankhurst’s role at the forefront of significant developments in the history of radical politics…
Fern Riddell
Fern is the author of 'The Victorian Guide to Sex', An exciting factual romp through sexual desire, practises and deviance in the Victorian era. The Victorian Guide to Sex will reveal advice and ideas on sexuality from the Victorian period. Drawing on both satirical and real life events from the period, it explores every facet of sexuality that the Victorians encountered.
There will be a discussion and also a Q+A, followed by a book signing.
Refreshements will be available.
Tickets for this are just £3, redeemable on any book on the night. 

An Evening with Sarah Winman - Thursday October 8th - 7.00pm

We’ve been trying for some considerable time to sort this out and now finally, we are delighted that Sarah Winman will be joining us at the shop.
Sarah’s first book, ‘When God Was a Rabbit’ published in 2011 is a brilliant story looking primarily at the intense relationship between Elly and her older brother Joe. It’s a dark , funny and very moving novel, which I suggest you purchase right now…Oh, but before you do, you ought to know that Sarah’s new novel, ‘A Year of Marvellous Ways’ has just come out. Another triumph, this is a beautifully constructed novel telling the unlikely friendship of 90 year oldMarvellous Ways and a young soldier Freddy Drake.
Sarah will be here to read and discuss her novels and to answer any questions you may have. Here books will be available on the night to buy and Sarah will be happy to sign copies for you.
Tickets are just £3, redeemable on either book purchased at the shop. 

Monday, September 07, 2015

Calais Jungle Library - another update!

Short introduction;
We're raising money to get books for a makeshift library in the Calais refugee camp (known as The Jungle), set up by teacher Mary Jones. Read about it HERE

OK, are you all up to speed now? Excellent.

Today, I had the pleasure of speaking to Mary (who's been so busy in the last week, that she only found out about what we were doing this morning!) on the telephone.

A telephone, earlier today. 

She was absolutely rushed off her feet, and during the fifteen minute conversation we had, it was apparent that her role in the camp was so much more than 'simply' looking after the Library. She'd just received a delivery of donated shoes and was sorting out who in the camp needed them (it seemed that a large number of the donations the camp received, books or otherwise, were delivered to her).

She wanted to say how incredibly grateful she was for the response for her "more books for the library" plea.
She has been overwhelmed.

Jungle Books Library, earlier today. 

Now, here is the bit I need you to read.


If you've already sent them to us, or if they are in the post already, that is brilliant. THANK YOU.
But if you were planning on dropping off any more books for us to get to the library, please hold off.

At the moment, the stuff we have and the books we are going to order especially for those people at the camp are more than enough.

However, Mary did say...


These donations will  go towards restocking the shelves at the library, as the books that we donate will be given to those people in the camp (we're not expecting the books to be returned to the library). This is a longer term plan than but we want to try and sustain the library for as long as possible.


It looks like we'll be delivering the books to Calais ourselves, and we'll also be putting a video together of the trip there.  

A map, earlier today. 

We've (nearly) managed to persuade a company to let us have a free van for a couple of days, and it also looks like we'll be able to borrow a camera from the Broadcasting Company whose license fee is worth every penny.

Anyway, more of that next time.
Thanks for your continued support for this. 

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Jungle Library. Update.

10 days ago, I posted a thing on here asking for donations for The Jungle Library, a makeshift library set up by a teacher called  Mary Jones at the refugee camp in Calais.

Up until last Wednesday, we'd had a few, very generous donations from our customers and we were delighted that we could help in some way.

Then, following the media reporting of poor Aylan Kurdi, whose image I will never forget, things changed.
I have very mixed feeling about how the media portrayed this, (and i'm not going to argue this point with anyone, so let's not go there OK?), but one thing it did do was change attitudes and more importantly it seems to have led to a change in government policy.

On a very local level, our small appeal for books for the library was suddenly catapulted into the limelight, as The Independent and the Telegraph picked up on the story.

All of a sudden we were inundated with kind offers as thousands (about 26,000 at the last count) read the blogpost.

Here are a few things that have happened so far:

  • over £2,500 has been donated towards books and stuff for the Calais refugees (you can add to this too, if you want)

  • We've received thousands of books (and know we'll be getting at least three times as many this week too) from you lovely people. 

A small selection
  • The BBC came over to our gaff and stuck us on the London News. This is no longer available to view, but you'll have to take my word for it that I looked fabulous and it was worth the licence fee money alone. 
  • An Amazon Wishlist, set up by Worzel Wooface , attracted 160 purchases! Rather than donate books, this list was curated especially, so that people could buy specific books and games that the people at the camp need and get them delivered direct to us. Essentially we are going to be getting 160 Amazon parcels through the post! But it was an spectacular success, and those parcels amount to over £1200 worth of goods. 
There are other more incredible things that happened. Here are a couple that you really ought to know about.

Patrick Ness (he's an author. He's written some rather exceptional books too, but don't let him get all big headed about it), started an appeal for Save the Children's Syrian Refugee fund, in which he pledged to match donations if they got to £10,000. It took less than 2 hours! 

Good old Patrick Ness (as of Sept 6th 2015)

It then took on a life of its own with authors including Jojo Moyes, David Nicholls, Anthony Horowitz and Marian Keyes all agreeing to add £10,000 if more donations were given. Money currently raised is teetering around half a million pounds!! That's fucking AMAZING!!!
Give more money HERE (if you can).

£1300 was raised by publisher and all round nice guy Scott Pack and Jonathan Main, who owns The Bookseller Crow, London's second best bookshop. They offered professional advice to authors in exchange for money for the Syrian refugees. 

The book industry is ace.

Our next step is getting the books over to Calais....(that will be covered in the next blogpost, as this one is long enough already). 

Please, if you can, keep donating and sharing the message. These people need our help.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Man Booker Book Challenge. IT'S BACK!!

The Man Booker Prize Book Challenge. It’s Back!
Thursday September 17th and again on Tuesday October 13th. 
Once again the nation holds its breath in anticipation of the announcement of The Man Booker Prize shortlist on September 15th.

 London will grind to a standstill and police cordons will be set up to hold back fans hoping to catch a glimpse of the judges entering the hallowed Booker Towers to announce their decision.

And media attention couldn't be more intense. Heightened security measures have been introduced to ensure the Longlisted authors’ protection as Booker frenzy continues to sweep the nation. 

So, who is it going to be?? Only the judges know, but we hear from an anonymous source that the six shortlisted authors are all likely to come from the 13 books on the longlist.
And here is that Longlist.

Bill Clegg  - Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape)           
Anne Enright - The Green Road (Jonathan Cape)
Marlon James  - A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications)
Laila Lalami - The Moor's Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing)
Tom McCarthy  - Satin Island (Jonathan Cape)
Chigozie Obioma  - The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press)
Andrew O’Hagan  - The Illuminations (Faber & Faber)
Marilynne Robinson  - Lila (Virago)           
Anuradha Roy - Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus)
Sunjeev Sahota - The Year of the Runaways (Picador)
Anna Smaill  - The Chimes (Sceptre)
Anne Tyler - A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus)
Hanya Yanagihara - A Little Life (Picador)

After the controversy of last year’s boycott of the Man Booker, rules have changed and it seems that the books are  (nearly) all available, which means EVERYONE has a chance to read them!

So I am delighted to announce  that The Big Green Bookshop will be running its Booker Book Challenge again *cheers*.

Here’s how it works;
As soon as the shortlist is announced, we’ll order copies of each of the books, which we’ll hopefully get by Thursday September 17th.  We’ll open until about 8pm on the Thursday, so people can come and pick up copies of the books.

Over the next five or so weeks the idea is to make a concerted effort to read as many of the six shortlisted books as you can.
We'll meet on Tuesday October 13th, the evening the winner is announced, to discuss each of the books. After a heated debate, and a glass or two of wine, the group will vote for whom they think should win. We’ll then watch the televised ceremony, and hopefully cheer as our choice and the actual winner is one and the same. Or more likely, shout and curse as our least favourite book takes the glory.

We realise that the cost of buying six books, some of them hardback is somewhat budget busting. So for our local customers, rather than asking you to buy all the books at full price we’ve come up with a few solutions;

•For a one off payment of £30, we will be a lending library, where you can borrow each of the books for a week each. You can also keep your favourite book after the ceremony. Pre-order this deal HERE.
•We will offer a discount of 20% on the shortlist.
•A group of you could share the cost, so for example 3 of you could buy 2 books each. 

However you decide to do this, we will do everything we can to make the books accessible to you. The important thing is that you're able to join in. 

It's a challenge to read six books in four weeks (especially books you wouldn't necessarily read), but if you think you're up for it, get involved.
My guess at the Shortlist (based on nothing). 

Anne Enright
Tom McCarthy  
Andrew O’Hagan
 Marilynne Robinson  
Anne Tyler
Hanya Yanagihara

Please let me know if you’re planning on getting involved, so I can order enough books.