|Grove Bookshop in Ilkely, West Yorkshire|
How better to spend this post-Christmas, pre-New Year period than curled with a book or two? And, in case you didn't get any for Christmas, who better to ask for guidance to a good bookshop than Erica Jones of The Bookshop Around The Corner? Bookshop blogger Erica is also the latest recruit to our gaming group, The Tuesday Knights, and a friend and work colleague of my wife, Rachel.
(1) How long have you been blogging, and how’d you get into it in the first place?
I’ve been blogging about bookshops for just over two years. It started as a result of Twitter.
I’d been on the social media site for a little while and as I’m a fan of books I’d gradually found myself following more and more bookshops around the country, talking to them and getting to know them as well as you can get to know a non-human entity on the internet.
They all seemed pretty cool and I found myself wanting to go and ‘meet’ them. Writing a blog about the experience seemed the perfect excuse to do that without sounding slightly crazy. I’ve now met lots of them (and many more) and still sound slightly crazy.
(2) What do you blog about and how frequently do you post?
Once a week I blog about bookshops. About my experiences in them, why I’m visiting that particular bookshop, what it’s like, what I buy, who I talk to... anything that strikes me as being the ‘story’ of my personal experience there. My aim is to remind people why bookshops are special and to encourage them to go back to supporting them.
(3) How does your blog stand out from all the rest?
My blog is almost unique. I say almost, because to the best of my knowledge I know of only one other blog dedicated to bookshops (I’d be very happy to be corrected). Generally, people seem to overlook the bookshops in favour of the books. Which is a shame, because they’re missing out on some great experiences and friendships - and personal book recommendations!
|"Books are my addiction," confesses Erica|
The best: A big leap in my confidence, because of the nature of my blog it’s led to me having a range of wonderful experiences, visiting new people and places I’d’ve not otherwise encountered. The blog itself gave me the confidence to go out and do all that, but then the experiences themselves further boosted my confidence in general. I’m a lot happier for it.
The worst: The cost! I’m spending a lot of money on train tickets, car parks and lovely books.
(5) Do you have any self-imposed rules (or guidelines) for your blog?
Two main ones. The first is that I have to write once a week. There’s no particular day to post, but my self-imposed deadline is before 9am on a Friday. This helps me stick to a routine.
The second rule is the most important: If I’m to write about a bookshop I must spend money in it. Otherwise I’d feel like I was visiting them for no reason or to be selfish - like the people who take photos of books in shops and then go and buy them online (the biggest sin of all as far as I’m concerned). This rule is also important because if I can’t find anything I want to buy then it’s an indicator that maybe I shouldn’t be writing about the bookshop - I only write about places I like (maybe that’s rule number three).
(6) Name one blog everyone should be reading (other than your own).
This one’s easy, people should also be reading The Matilda Project – which is the other blog dedicated to bookshops.
|The Matilda Project|