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El negocio de las conferencias

El negocio de las conferencias

                                                                                                                       por Gabriel Zaid
 
Hay quienes se reúnen a conversar con amigos, y se alegran de verse y de participar en las noticias, ocurrencias y opiniones que van tejiendo la conversación. No fácilmente admiten a desconocidos, y menos aún si llevan algún propósito. En una tertulia, el fin de la reunión es la reunión.
Pero las reuniones pueden mediatizarse con fines ulteriores: que las buenas ideas y los buenos amigos y los buenos oficios tejan algo más que una conversación: redes de relaciones y de ascenso. Las reuniones, entonces, no son tertulias, sino paréntesis de respiro y planeación de los trepadores on their way up.

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Trece perlas de Trama & Texturas 17

Trece perlas de Trama & Texturas 17

Escrito por José Antonio Millán
Blog de Libros y bitios 
Ha aparecido el número 17 de la revista Trama & Texturas. (Se puede conseguir en papel, y también en PDF, por un precio muy razonable).

Este número presenta una densidad de artículos interesantes realmente notable. En lo que respecta al tema de este blog, hay que destacar la presencia de un Cuaderno dedicado a la transición digital, compilado por Manuel Gil. Hemos seleccionado trece extractos de sus respectivos artículos, y empezaremos con una cita de la introducción de Manuel Gil:

Nuestro sector continúa sufriendo de algunas señas de identidad que ni cambian ni evolucionan: opacidad, secretismo, reservas… Si los nuevos actores digitales las adoptan y mantienen, nos tememos lo peor. Seguimos teniendo carencias y problemas graves para una transición digital ordenada y bien meditada, es preocupante la ausencia de plataformas digitales compartidas por libreros y editores independientes en un escenario en el que, todo parece indicar, los mercados generalistas se moverán en abanicos cuasi monopólicos.

Y este es el contenido del Cuaderno:

  • Convergencias y divergencias entre libros (en papel y digital) Luis Collado

Nos han enseñado a comprar aparatos, pero ¿quién se ha encargado de enseñarnos dónde encontrar un sitio para comprar un e-book?, ¿dónde conseguir información, ¿cuál es el mejor sitio, en el que mejor me tratan, más conocen mis gustos y más información y más adecuada a mí mismo me facilitan?

En los Estados Unidos, donde vivo hace 11 años, se ve a las Américas como una oportunidad […] En cambio, en Argentina […] los editores a menudo hablan del mercado latinoamericano más por sus escollos que por sus oportunidades.

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Cuando tu editor hace las cosas bien

Cuando tu editor hace las cosas bien

Siempre produce alegría que te llame tu editor (Manuel Ortuño) para decirte que tus libros están disponibles ya en formato digital (ePub y Mobi), en la red de Libranda (72 librerías nacionales y 19 internacionales, incluyendo iBookstore), en Amazon y en Google Play. Si los autores ponemos el texto, el papel del editor es aportar el contexto. Tanto El paradigma digital y sostenible del libro (Trama, 2011), como El nuevo paradigma del sector del libro (Trama 2008), están ya a disposición del público. Me alegro especialmente por el público latinoamericano, donde estos libros han tenido una extraordinaria acogida, pero las dificultades para conseguirlos (a precios razonables) era un suplicio.

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The North West London Blues

The North West London Blues



An 1894 drawing of Willesden Green Library

But it was still very nice. Willesden French Market sells cheap bags. It sells CDs of old time jazz and rock ‘n’ roll. It sells umbrellas and artificial flowers. It sells ornaments and knick-knacks and doo dahs, which are not always obviously French in theme or nature. It sells water pistols. It sells French breads and pastries for not much more than you’d pay for the baked goods in Gregg’s down Kilburn High Road. It sells cheese, but of the decently priced and easily recognizable kind—brie, goat’s, blue—as if the market has traveled unchanged across the channel from some run-down urban suburb of Paris. Which it may have done for all I know.
The key thing about Willesden’s French Market is that it accentuates and celebrates this concrete space in front of Willesden Green Library Centre, which is at all times a meeting place, though never quite so much as it is on market day. Everybody’s just standing around, talking, buying or not buying cheese, as the mood takes them. It’s really pleasant. You could almost forget Willesden High Road was ten yards away. This matters. When you’re standing in the market you’re not going to work, you’re not going to school, you’re not waiting for a bus. You’re not heading for the tube or shopping for necessities. You’re not on the high road where all these activities take place. You’re just a little bit off it, hanging out, in an open air urban area, which is what these urban high streets have specifically evolved to stop people doing.
Everybody knows that if people hang around for any length of time in an urban area without purpose they are likely to become “anti-social.” And indeed there were four homeless drunks sitting on one of the library’s strange architectural protrusions, drinking Special Brew. Perhaps in a village they would be sitting under a tree, or have already been driven from the area by a farmer with a pitchfork. I do not claim to know what happens in villages. But here in Willesden they were sat on their ledge and the rest of us were congregating for no useful purpose in the unlovely concrete space, simply standing around in the sunshine, like some kind of community. From this vantage point we could look ahead to the turrets, or left to the Victorian police station (1865), or right to the half-ghostly façade of the Spotted Dog (1893).
We could have a minimal sense of continuity with what came before. Not so much as the people of Hampstead must have, to be sure, or the folk who live in pretty market towns all over the country, but here and there in Willesden the past lingers on. We’re glad that it does. Which is not to say that we are overly nostalgic about architecture (look at the library!) but we find it pleasant to remember that we have as much right to a local history as anyone, even if many of us arrived here only recently and from every corner of the globe.
On market day we permit ourselves the feeling that our neighborhood, for all its catholic mix of people and architecture, remains a place of some beauty that deserves minimal preservation and care. It’s a nice day out, is my point. Still, there’s only so long a toddler will stand around watching her grandmother greet all the many people in Willesden her grandmother knows. My daughter and I took a turn. You can’t really take a turn in the high road so we went backwards, into the library centre. Necessarily backward in time, though I didn’t—couldn’t—bore my daughter with my memories: she is still young and below nostalgia’s reach. Instead I will bore you. Studied in there, at that desk. Met a boy over there, where the phone boxes used to be. Went, with school friends, in there, to see The Piano and Schindler’s List (cinema now defunct) and afterward we went in there, for coffee (café now defunct) and had an actual argument about art, an early inkling that there might be a difference between a film with good intentions and a good film.
Meanwhile my daughter is running madly through the centre’s esplanade, with another toddler who has the same idea. And then she reverses direction and heads straight for Willesden Green Book Shop, an independent shop that rents space from the council and provides—no matter what Brent Council, the local government for the London borough of Brent, may claim—an essential local service. It is run by Helen. Helen is an essential local person. I would characterize her essentialness in the following way: “Giving the people what they didn’t know they wanted.” Important category. Different from the concept popularized by Mr Murdoch: giving the people what they want. Everyone is by now familiar with the Dirty Digger’s version of the social good—we’ve had thirty years of it. Helen’s version is different and necessarily perpetrated on a far smaller scale.
Helen gives the people of Willesden what they didn’t know they wanted. Smart books, strange books, books about the country they came from, or the one that they’re in. Children’s books with children in them that look at least a bit like the children who are reading them. Radical books. Classical books. Weird books. Popular books. She reads a lot, she has recommendations. Hopefully, you have a Helen in a bookshop near you and so understand what I’m talking about. In 1999 I didn’t know I wanted to read David Mitchell until Helen pointed me to Ghostwritten. And I have a strong memory of buying a book by Sartre here, because it was on the shelf and I saw it. I don’t know how I could have known I wanted Sartre without seeing it on that shelf—that is, without Helen putting it there. Years later, I had my book launch in this bookshop and when it got too full, mainly with local friends of my mother, we all walked up the road to her flat and carried on over there.

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Revista Trama&TEXTURAS en formato digital

Revista Trama&TEXTURAS en formato digital

Desde el pasado mes de mayo, Trama editorial cuenta ya con la nueva edición electrónica de la Revista Texturas. Asi que ya no hay excusa. Pasen y disfruten.

Disponible en la página de Trama editorial

Para los adictos al mundo Apple, en el Ibook Store contamos con algunos títulos de la colección Tipos Móviles: “Paradigma digital y sostenible del libro”, “Éxito”, “Nuevo paradigma del sector del libro”. Además de los títulos top ventas de la editorial.

Lo bueno se hace esperar...TEXTURAS #17

Lo bueno se hace esperar…TEXTURAS #17

SUMARIO
01_Chifla
El fin de los libros
Octave Uzanne 
02_Intonso
La República Digital del Conocimiento.
Entrevista a Robert Darnton
Rhys Tranter

03~a la inglesa

Convergencias y divergencias entre libros (en papel y digital)
Luis Collado
Grandes oportunidades, enormes desafíos
Patricia Arancibia
Apuntes sobre la r-evolución digital en el mercado editorial
Silvia Clemares   
Literatura infantil y juvenil digital. 
Un extenso reino creativo para nativos digitales
Noemí Pes Escofet
La evolución de las especies (editoriales)
Arantxa Mellado Bataller
¿Hacia una muerte programada del libro?
Entrevista a Lorenzo Soccavo
Sophie Dubec & Raphaël Denys
Contenidos web: nuevas profesiones para jóvenes (y viejos) editores
Nuria Rita Sebastián
Gato por liebre. Cómo hemos perdido dos años en la edición digital
Jaume Balmes
Problemática del libro digital
Juan Triviño
Viaje fugaz por una industria peculiar
Manuel Dávila Galindo Olivares
El mercado del libro digital como excusa
Iñaki Vázquez Álvarez
La tecnología digital: un factor de liberación.
Entrevista a Alberto Vitale
Joana Costa Knufinke 
04~a la holandesa
¿Para qué sirve una revista cultural?
Ludolfo Paramio
Las revistas culturales en la transición digital
Enrique Bustamante 
Las revistas culturales: encuentro, modernidad e intercambio
Germán Rey
05~a pasaperro
La guerra del libro
La sargento Margaret
06_a Encañonar

 Libros y blogs

London bookshops do not disappoint

London bookshops do not disappoint

by Delia von Neuschatz

The shop front with the Royal Warrant and Nancy Mitford commemorative blue plaque prominently displayed. Some past and present notable patrons include Alec Guinness, Ian Fleming, Evelyn Waugh, and Daphne Guinness among many, many others.

Chain stores, Amazon and eBooks haven’t managed to kill off the independent bookshops … not in London anyway. Though inevitably, there have been some closings, a good number of small (and not so small) independently-owned bookshops continue to delight bibliophiles from all over the world. These havens from the “madding crowd” are staffed by attentive men and women who are passionate about books and have actually read the volumes they recommend. Whether browsing for yourself or looking for a unique gift (and not just of the literary kind – think perfume, original artwork and customized maps, among other things), the bookshops I’ve come across in London will not disappoint.

Below are my favorite ones – a dozen in all. The list is by no means exhaustive, however, and there is even a map that points out the locations of many more. A quick perusal of thelondonbookshopmap.org shows the breadth and depth of literary choices that abound in this erudite city.

Heywood Hill
10 Curzon Street, Mayfair     
Tel: +44 (0)20 7629 0647, heywoodhill.com

 The blue commemorative Nancy Mitford plaque and the Royal Warrant appointing Heywood Hill as booksellers “to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

Nancy Mitford and Heywood Hill – their gossipy, witty letters attest to their close friendship which lasted until Nancy Mitford’s death.

Celebrating its 76th anniversary this year, Heywood Hill’s eponymous Mayfair shop has been known as the “society bookshop” ever since the well-connected Nancy Mitford joined its ranks in 1942 during World War II. When her legion of friends were in London on leave from military duty, they would lunch at their club and then totter up to Heywood Hill on Curzon Street for a good gossip and to find out what to read.

The shop’s role as a gathering place for social and literary discourse continues to this day, enhanced by its gregarious majority shareholder, Peregrine Cavendish, the 12th Duke of Devonshire, and charming Managing Director, Nicky Dunne, the Duke’s son-in law. Its customer base is vast and varied. Queen Elizabeth II has been buying books from Heywood Hill for a number of years now. Indeed, last year, the shop was awarded a coveted Royal Warrant. Heywood Hill is also beloved by many Americans, catering to about 500 American account customers alone. 

Nicky Dunne, Heywood Hill’s Managing Director.

There are a few things which distinguish Heywood Hill from its competitors. First, true to its social reputation, its book launches are often big parties held in picturesque venues all across London. Not long ago, I attended one for Deborah Cavendish, the dowager Duchess of Devonshire at the beautiful Garrick Club, where Camilla Parker Bowles was among the guests.

The inviting back room at Heywood Hill

Second, it provides a couple of unusual services which make for great gifts. Signing up for its Children’s Service results in the shop sending one book per month to the designated child. The child’s name is inscribed inside the books and they arrive beautifully wrapped. This is an affordable and popular service among grandparents and godparents alike.
 And, for the man (or woman) who has everything, there’s the (rather more expensive) Subject Service which results in the creation of a “wall of books” on a particular subject. Say your loved one is passionate about fishing or sailing or gardening – Heywood Hill will source 300 – 400 books on that topic, produce a catalog and commission a notable author to write an introduction to the collection. What more could a bibliophile want?

Some Winston Churchill first editions. Heywood Hill is also an antiquarian bookshop


Well, if it’s a whole library you’re hankering after, the shop is well equipped to offer guidance with that too, having created “gentlemen’s libraries” all over the world.

 

The London Library – the world’s largest independent lending library – together with Heywood Hill, form “two of the bastions of the printed word in Mayfair” according to Nicky Dunne. Heywood Hill sponsors the “London Library Literary Award” in recognition of “a lifetime of contribution to the enjoyment of good books.” The winner receives £10,000.
  

 Slightly Foxed
123 Gloucester Road, South Kensington
Tel: +44 (0)20 7370 3503, foxedbooks.com

Slightly Foxed used to be a second-hand bookshop, owned by Graham Greene’s nephew. Today, it sells an eclectic range of current fiction and non-fiction titles.

 Slightly Foxed is run by a Heywood Hill alumnus, Tony Smith. Not only is Tony extremely knowledgeable and passionate about books and thus, adept at creating libraries (and is called upon with some regularity to do so), but he will also go to great lengths to secure virtually any special request. If, for instance, you must lay your hands on a uniform edition of Roald Dahl’s collected works in pristine condition for your precious little ones, Tony is your man.

Tony Smith, Slightly Foxed’s dapper manager. Displayed behind him is a collection of tea towels on offer amidst the books.

The shop is publisher-driven, owned by Slightly Foxed: the Real Reader’s Quarterly, a well-regarded and beautifully printed book review which remains “unaffected by the winds of fashion and the hype of the big publishers,” and strives to introduce “its readers to some of the thousands of good books that long ago disappeared from the review pages and often from bookshop shelves.” Given the Quarterly’s mission then, it’s not surprising that the shop’s collection of general fiction and non-fiction titles is well edited.  Not to be missed at Slightly Foxed is its antidote to the eBook – its “Charming Section” – replete with books that are well … charming, either by virtue of their covers or illustrations.

Some literature-inspired mugs also available for sale – perfect for some afternoon tea
The “Charming Section” at Slightly Foxed.
Lutyens & Rubinstein
21 Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill
Tel: +44 (0)20 7229 1010, lutyensrubinstein.co.uk
Artwork and books on display.

 Lutyens & Rubinstein has been a hit in its chic Notting Hill enclave ever since it opened its doors a few years ago. Owned by two literary agents, the pretty shop delights not only with its careful selection of fiction, non-fiction, art and children’s books, but also with its merchandise. Proffers include a selection of locally made jams and honey as well as CB I Hate Perfume, a range of perfumes by the Brooklyn-based Christopher Brosius, a former New York City cab driver. His award-winning, natural-smelling fragrances have evocative names like “In the Library” and “Burning Leaves.”

 
  Some of the CB I Hate Perfume fragrances on the middle shelf. I bought one which smells like the beach and is appropriately named “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday,” after the satiric French film which takes place at the seaside. L&R is the line’s only stockist in London.
If the sight of those jams make you peckish, no need to step outside for refreshment. Just head downstairs to the tiny coffee shop (seats 4). And should you happen to hear phones ringing and people talking while you’re getting a caffeine fix, it’s not your imagination. It’s the sound of book deals being made, for behind a pair of sliding bookshelves is the literary agency.   
One-of-a-kind trompe l’oeil wooden blocks hand-painted by Leanne Shapton – author of Important Artifacts, the story of a failed love affair told through a couple’s accumulated possessions – are some of the artworks on offer. £100 each.





Books for Cooks
4 Blenheim Crescent, Notting Hill
Tel: +44 (0)20 7221 1992, booksforcooks.com

The shop front in an appetizing red.

The shop front in an appetizing red.
The front window beckons.
A hop, skip and a jump away from Lutyens & Rubinstein is probably “the best-smelling shop in the world,” the self explanatory Books for Cooks. Not only does the shop carry over 8,000 cookery books (all in English), but it tests the recipes on hand, serving up a daily and seasonally-fresh lunch from its tiny test kitchen at the back. At £5 for two courses and £7 for three courses, this has got to be the best meal deal in town. Come early because seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis and continues until the food runs out. The shop also conducts cooking classes in a larger kitchen upstairs
The test kitchen – small in size, but not in output.
Over the years, customer demand has prompted the shop to put out its own cookbooks – compilations of its most popular recipes from the test kitchen
A sampling of the shop’s own cookbooks showcasing the most successful recipes tested in its kitchen.
  
Daunt Books
83 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone
Tel: +44 (0)20 7224 2295, dauntbooks.co.uk
 Daunt Books has an impressive six locations throughout London. I mention the Marylebone shop because it’s the original one (it opened in 1990) and because it’s also the most beautiful with its large skylights and long oak galleries (although the shops are all very pleasing with their dark wood paneling and light and airy interiors). 
 The building which houses Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street was built as a bookshop about 100 years ago during the Edwardian era and has remained one ever since, making it the oldest purpose-built bookshop in London.
 Originally conceived by James Daunt as a travel bookshop, the store has evolved to cater to the general interest reader with a large selection of fiction, non-fiction, art, children’s and business-oriented books. And oh yeah, they still have plenty of travel books organized, as always by country. But you won’t find just travel guides in say, the Australia section. There, you will also find fiction, history, art and cookery books pertaining to the Land Down Under  – everything to inspire your wanderlust.
The back of the shop is light-filled due to its large stained glass window and beautiful skylights.
Daunt Books is partial to four-legged creatures. Clixby, pictured above, is peacefully waiting for his master to finish browsing through the shelves. The four-year-old golden beauty has been frequenting the shop since he was a puppy. 
 Primrose Hill Books
134 Regent’s Park Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 7586 2022, primrosehillbooks.com
  This small shop packs a wallop not only in terms of its popularity in the family-friendly and über-fashionable Primrose Hill neighborhood but also in terms of the number of books on offer. Incredibly, some 20,000 new and second-hand books, all carefully chosen by the owners, Jessica Graham and Marek Laskowski, line the shelves of this vibrant neighborhood gathering spot.  The shop isn’t popular only with the locals however, as it sends books all over the world, many of them to America. Speaking of locals, Primrose Hill counts numerous notables among its past and present residents including Gwen Stefani, Helena Bonham Carter, Kate Moss, Jude Law, John Cleese, Sienna Miller, Robert Plant and Martin Amis, among many others
Jessica Graham. She and her husband, Marek Laskowski, form the husband and wife team behind Primrose Hill Books. Jessica had owned the shop for a short while when Marek wandered in, looking to buy a book or two. The rest is history. The shop has been under the present ownership for the past 25 years. The couple has sold books to some children from when they were toddlers right on through to university.
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Some of the advance uncorrected proof copies publishers have sent to Primrose Hill Books. They are considered with great care when it comes time to decide which books to buy for the shop.
Primrose Hill’s picturesque Regent’s Park Road, the hub of this “urban village.”
Regents Park Road is lined with pretty shops and cafés.
This book just about sums it up.
These telephone booths in Primrose Hill are an endangered species, driven to near extinction by mobile phones.
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Foyles
113-119 Charing Cross Road, Soho
Tel: +44 (0)20 7437 5660, foyles.co.uk
A little bit of trivia: the title of the excellent British detective series, Foyle’s War, was inspired by the shop.The first thing you notice about Foyles is that it is huge. I mean HUGE. Its flagship location on Charing Cross Road (there are five London locations in all) is five stories high. But, don’t let that put you off. The second thing you notice while perusing the store directory is that there is something for everybody. I’m not kidding. The shop not only carries over 200,000 books – probably the largest number of volumes in the world in any one shop – but it also has movies and music.
Aside from works of general fiction and non-fiction, at Foyles you will also find plenty of material on the subjects of business, law, medicine, crafts and even DIY, among others. It truly is a one-stop shop. Should this embarrassment of riches not be enough for you, there are another 17 million titles to choose from on their website. Not bad for a business that is still family run. This independent operation has been in the Foyle family since 1903.
The sheet music department at Foyles contains scores from classical symphonies to contemporary jazz. 
 Jazz concerts are held in the café. Foyles also has an art gallery which hosts classical concerts.
 Foyles also happens to be the UK’s largest foreign language retailer, covering every living language from Afrikaans to Zulu and even some dead ones to boot. It’s in the foreign language department that I came upon Giles Armstrong. Having worked at Foyles for no less than 42 years, he knows a thing or two about the book business. According to Giles, the old adage that you can’t go wrong by publishing books on “goth, cats and the Third Reich” is absolutely true. To that list, he also adds the topics of vampires and gardening. As for foreign languages, English as a second language continues to be a perennial favorite. 
Giles Armstrong has been with Foyles for more than four decades. In his spare time, he writes plays and just had his first one staged this year. The Visiting Professor was put on at the Old Red Lion Theatre as part of the REDfest London fringe theater competition. 
The extensive foreign language department at Foyles even carries Latin translations of Harry Potter and Winnie the Pooh.
Stanfords
12-14 Long Acre, Covent Garden
Tel: +44 (0)20 7836 1321, stanfords.co.uk
Stanfords travel bookshop is a destination in and of itself. The store, which has been in its present Covent Garden location since 1901, carries the world’s largest stock of travel books under one roof.
Stanfords is a travel bookshop nonpareil. But it’s more than that. It’s a “travel specialist” because, aside from the obligatory maps and guidebooks, it seemingly carries every necessity you would ever think of for your trip and then some. History books and novels related to your destination? Check. Insect repellant? Check. Walking stick, biodegradable body wash and dopp kit? Check, check and check. Famous customers, past and present, real and fictional, include David Livingstone (“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”), Captain Robert F. Scott, Ernest Shackleton, Florence Nightingale, Michael Palin, and Sherlock Holmes.
Stanfords is known for its wide selection of globes
One of the best things about Stanfords, in my opinion, is its “bespoke cartographic” services which make for great gifts. You can commission a map of an area, chart your travels or outline an event. The shop also offers historical maps of London and its suburbs. Let’s say you want a map of Kensington as it appeared in 1856. Provided it exists and Stanfords can secure the rights, it will reproduce it for you.
Reproductions of vintage tube maps.
 John Sandoe Books
10 Blacklands Terrace, Chelsea
Tel: +44(0)20 7589 9473, johnsandoe.com
 John Sandoe boasts a cadre of sophisticated internationals along with many celebrities among its customers. It’s been suggested that a note be put on the door saying “Only two celebrities at a time, please.”  Indeed, Elton John and Gwyneth Paltrow have lightened their wallets on its premises.
Books cover every available surface at John Sandoe.
  The beloved shop manages to cram an impressive 25,000 or so books on three tiny floors of an 18th century building which it has occupied since 1957. It carries many titles for the general reader with an emphasis on the arts, but you will also find a wide variety of esoteric books. During my visit, I spotted a privately published book on wooden Russian churches and lavishly illustrated books on, among other things, gypsies, gothic arches, Islamic art, Boulle furniture and chickens. Yes, chickens. This serendipity makes it a pleasure to browse at John Sandoe – if you can squeeze yourself in among the stacks, that is.
The view from the second floor.
  
London Review Bookshop
14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury
Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 9030, lrbshop.co.uk
 The London Review Bookshop is appropriately located in Bloomsbury, the neighborhood called home by several literary giants including Virginia Woolf, Charles Dickens and William Butler Yeats. More recently, Ricky Gervais lived within its confines, but that’s another type of writer altogether. 
The London Review Bookshop was opened nine years ago by the prestigious London Review of Books to fill a gap in the marketplace that wasn’t being addressed by chain stores, according to its Manager, John Creasey. Fittingly, the shop focuses on the types of books favored by the Review – those on history, philosophy, cultural studies, poetry and literature. 
So, if you’re looking for discounted books or books by and about celebrities, then this is definitely NOT the place for you. The shop carries about 22,000 titles in all, but if you don’t find what you’re looking for on the premises, check out their comprehensive website which ships books all over the world.
The London Review Bookshop covers a wide range of topics.
The LRB Cake Shop is a popular neighborhood hangout due to its freshly made sandwiches, salads and desserts.
John Creasey, Manager of the London Review Bookshop.
 Persephone Books
159 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Bloomsbury
Tel: +44 (0)20 7242 9292, persephonebooks.co.uk
The shop occupies a building built in 1702-03.
 This flower-filled, pretty-as-a-picture feminine sanctuary carries mostly its own imprint made up of early 20th century books which have been largely neglected for the past 50 years. The carefully curated list of 96 titles focuses on novels written by women and taking place during World War I, the interwar years and World War II. With their distinctive dove-grey covers inspired by French publishing houses and thematically relevant, colorful endpapers, the books are a joy to behold.
Persephone’s unique-looking books.
The shop also sells titles put out by other publishers which fit into its catalog.
Cushions inspired by period fabrics and vintage posters at Persephone.
 It’s difficult to walk out of the shop with just one book and I ended up buying two of their most popular titles: Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson and Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple. The only thing that kept me from acquiring more is the fact that I had already bought a dozen books on this trip and had no idea how I was going to add them to my already overflowing luggage. If you can’t get to the shop, you can purchase the books online or by mail order. The six or twelve-month subscriptions make for great gifts.
Colorful crockery on offer at Persephone Books.
A shabby chic corner.
A flower shop on picturesque Lamb’s Conduit Street.
 Hatchards
187 Piccadilly
Tel: +44 (0)20 7439 9921, hatchards.co.uk

Hatchards has occupied its present building on Piccadilly since 1803.
Last, but certainly not least, there is Hatchards. All the shops mentioned above are independent ones as those are the ones I favor. But, I must point out Hatchards. As it’s owned by Waterstones, Hatchards is not independent, but it is rather special nonetheless. Perhaps the shop’s most distinguishing aspect is its 200+-year history. Incredibly, Hatchards has been in existence (and always on Piccadilly) since 1797! It is almost as old as the United States. How many stores can boast the same today?
Second, Hatchards holds not one, not two, but three Royal Warrants (from the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales). It is the only bookshop in the United Kingdom to do so.
 The shop carries about 150,000 books spread out over five floors. Popular genres include fiction, biography, history and art. Their children’s section is well-regarded for its emphasis on tradition. Read: no Hannah Montana, but plenty of Beatrix Potter.
And third, Hatchards is a great favorite with writers. For many new and established authors, the shop is the first port of call for their book signings. It is also where they frequently purchase books. Literary patrons, past and present, include Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, Somerset Maugham, John Le Carré, P. D. James, Antonia Fraser, Ruth Rendell and Joanna Trollope. Hatchards even has some famous fictional customers – Virginia Woolf has Mrs. Dalloway visit the shop. Other customers of note (among many others) are Queen Victoria, Margaret Thatcher, Eileen Atkins, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and Noёl Coward.
The books of the renowned travel writer, Patrick Leigh Fermor, hold pride of place in front of a portrait of the Queen.
If you happen to find yourself in London during Thanksgiving, make sure to stop by Hatchards because it is on the last Thursday of every November that it holds a “Christmas Customer Evening.” During this informal gathering, fueled by mulled wine and minced pies, upwards of 40 writers – pretty much anyone of note who’s has a book out that year – comes to the shop and rubs shoulders with the customers. As the writers don’t at all mind signing copies of their books, it’s a great opportunity to do some Christmas shopping.
Stephen Simpson has been selling books at Hatchards for 40 years. A conversation with him quickly reveals that his enthusiasm for the job remains undimmed.
La cara oculta de la edición

La cara oculta de la edición

 

INTRODUCCIÓN

 

    Cuando se habla del mundo editorial pensamos en Saint-Germain-des-Prés, en un oficio dominado por las grandes pasiones, en verdad pobre pero no por ello menos fascinante y prestigioso. Cuando se habla del mundo editorial nos centramos en la imagen que la profesión ofrece de sí misma y que los medios se encargan de difundir ampliamente.

        Una imagen un tanto caduca, artesanal, un mundo en blanco y negro. Y bien, no, no es eso: la edición es un sector de actividad dinámico, que vive con su tiempo y que abarca materias tan distintas como la literatura juvenil, las guías prácticas, los libros escolares, el cómic o las ciencias humanas. Un mundo en el que grandes grupos se codean con empresas minúsculas. Una economía de prototipos –cada una de las 40.000 novedades publicadas al año es un proyecto en sí mismo –, de equilibrios frágiles, pero también rentable. En el que la hiper concentración ha engendrado, en estos últimos veinte años, mastodontes de talla europea e internacional; en el que los procesos de producción, del manuscrito al objeto libro, se han desmaterializado hace tiempo (antes incluso de hablar del libro electrónico), provocando una formidable transformación de los oficios del libro, fuente de rentabilidad pero también de estrés y de malestar. Porque el ámbito de lo social es, sin lugar a dudas, el lado oscuro de esta empresa cultural en la que trabajar es un privilegio quese paga caro. Los salarios siempre han sido bajos, hoy en día lo son todavía más, y los empleos están cada vez menos cualificados en relación al nivel de estudios exigido. Porque, además de los 13.000 empleados del sector, están todos los otros: autónomos,«derechos de autor*», trabajadores temporales… Eslabones indispensables de la cadena que se ven obligados a plegarse al «acuerdo amistoso», a la demanda del sector, a la buena voluntad del cliente. En los primeros eslabones de la cadena están también los autores, cuyos derechos se ven mermados con el descenso de las ventas por título. Y, por último, los traductores… esos autores en la sombra… Todos ellos constituyen la materia prima indispensable para la realización de ese objeto único que es el libro. Todos acaban por darse de bruces contra ese mismo cinismo que concibe lo humano como un «coste» a reducir, sea como sea, y que nada tiene que ver con los valores humanistas de que la profesión hace gala.
        ¿El libro o los libros? La diversidad editorial constituye la verdadera riqueza de la edición, y también su fragilidad. Novelas, diccionarios, libros de arte, documentos, ensayos, poemas: cada materia posee sus particularidades económicas, su saber hacer propio, y cada una de ellas merecería sin duda un estudio aparte. Sin embargo, el sector en su conjunto obedece a reglas comunes a todos los actores de la denominada «cadena del libro», desde el editor al librero pasando por la red comercial y el distribuidor. Es importante tratar de comprender en primer lugar este mecanismo, evaluarlo críticamente, porque sus exigencias condicionan la pervivencia de la diversidad de los libros. Por otra parte, la realidad de las pequeñas editoriales se encuentra en las antípodas de la de los grandes grupos; por desgracia, faltan datos fiables y precisos para conocer mejor el cambiante mundo de la micro edición, cuya imagen sigue siendo un tanto vaga. La mayoría de los estudios estadísticos se refieren, en cambio, a los grupos más grandes, por lo que esa realidad más conocida suele considerarse representativa de la totalidad del sector. La misma distorsión y las mismas limitaciones se dan a la hora de observar el paisaje editorial de otros países.
¿Cuál es el futuro de la edición? La revolución digital, que se viene anunciando en los últimos diez años, alimenta todo tipo de especulaciones. En 2011 apenas si comenzamos a ver un poco claro entre los prejuicios, la mucha fantasía y las evoluciones probables.
En estos momentos se impone la prudencia y ya casi nadie se aventura a anunciar la muerte del libro. Y menos en un contexto de crisis en el que la edición parece menos afectada que otros sectores por el retroceso del consumo. ¿Será el libro un valor refugio en tiempos inciertos? Así y todo, habría que afinar este análisis, no sea que el éxito de unos cuantos bestsellers nos impida ver todo un bosque de obras mal vendidas; claro que hay ramas del sector, y empresas, que sufren más que otras. Además, la crisis suele dar
Donde más duele: vida media de los libros cada vez más corta, tasas de devolución en aumento, agravación de las dificultades de los libreros… Como en el resto de la actividad económica, casi desearía uno que la crisis fuera la ocasión para hacer tabla rasa, para frenar esta huida hacia adelante que es la sobreproducción y para restablecer equilibrios duraderos que permitan devolver su valor a los contenidos, redescubrir el sentido de un oficio constreñido por las exigencias financieras y volver a poner el factor humano en el centro de todo el proceso.
Este libro tiene por vocación desempolvar la imagen que se tiene de un sector, el de la edición, dominado hace tiempo por métodos de gestión modernos; de un oficio, el editorial, que es también un negocio, pero no por encima de todo. Pretende también situar la problemática social en el centro del debate sobre el futuro de la edición. Me he basado para ello en mi doble experiencia: profesional, en Gallimard Jeunesse, Bordas y Casterman, del grupo Flammarion; y sindical, como responsable de la principal organización del sector, la CFDT, que defiende los intereses de cualquier categoría profesional, asalariados o no. Está destinado a aquellos que aman el oficio pero que no toleran la injusticia; a los sindicalistas en lucha contra la precariedad que gangrena el sector; al conjunto de profesionales cuyo compromiso colectivo es indispensable.
Y para terminar, a todos los aspirantes, estudiantes, becarios tentados por la aventura editorial, a los que no podemos dejar de recomendar que se acerquen y vean su cara oculta.

 

Libro: La cara oculta de la edición
Autor: Martine Prosper

ISBN: 978-84-92755-55-4
Precio: 16,00€

 

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