It’s not what it says on the cover!

During a visit to my not so local bookseller, I was surprised to find a number of books with no price on the cover – either inside or out. There are always odd ones where the retailer might have forgotten to whip a pricing gun over them. Anyway, I discovered, while treating myself to Clive James Poetry Notebook – highly recommended – that I was being charged £3.00 more than the cover price. When I queried this, I was informed that the price had changed. The assistant indicated the bar code with the end of his hand scanner.

‘There’s been a price increase,’ he repeated.

‘But the cover says £9.99.’

‘Well now it’s £12.99.’

My response is not printable, but was around the theme of ‘you’re joking.’ So reluctantly, but politely we went through the arduous process of refunding the difference. I imagine we’re going to see a lot less of cover prices and more use of bar coding so the publisher and covertly hike the price.

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Hay Announces Festival Programme: Open Books, Open Minds

Hay has published its full line-up for the Festival starting in May (see Diary Dates link top right). Some of this year’s storytellers include Stormzy, Margate Atwood, Elif Shafak and, predictably, Richard Osman. As usual there are lectures, debates, book launches – fiction and non-fiction – for all ages. The selection of events is enormous. To encourage young readers Welsh Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, Jacqueline Wilson and Julia Donaldson will be joining many more in a packed programme. Hay 2023 promises to be bigger than ever.

This year Ukraine’s biggest book festival, Lviv BookForum, comes to Wales, spotlighting great Ukrainian storytelling and the state of Ukraine today.

Art as an act of storytelling comes to the fore as actor Russell Tovey and Robert Diament, director of the Carl Freedman Gallery and Counter Editions in Margate, present Talk Art; artist Tracey Emin discusses her life and work; artisitic director of the Barbican Will Gompertz (See What You’re Missing) joins artist Jeremy Deller (Art Is Magic) to take us into the mind of artists; and curator and art historian Katy Hessel shares The Story of Art Without Men

So much to see and hear. Tickets on sale. Here’s the link HAY TICKETS

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‘Between the Covers’ returns

Series 6 of BBC2 ‘Between the Covers’ returned on Monday night last week with contributions from Angela Scanlon, DJ Spoony, Rob Rinder and Cerys Matthews. Presenter Sara Cox covers a lot of ground, not to say books, in 29 mins. Would an hour be too long? I get the impression that some of the works could do with a lot more discussion, particularly those that are part of the guests BYOB – Bring Your Own Book. On some occasions, in the past, half an hour meant the speakers had to keep it short – not a bad thing in certain cases.

Watch tonight (20 March) for Episode 2 when Sara is joined by Alan Davies, Ivo Graham, Samantha Bond and Sunetra Sarker.

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