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Welcome to Lodge Books, a small, second hand bookshop located on South Back Lane in Bridlington's Old Town.
Having spent some 30 years working in a variety of accounting environments and having packed my son off to university, the opportunity arose to realise a long held ambition to open a book shop, and in what better place to do so than Bridlington. The aim is to provide a good range of second hand books to satisfy the reading habits of local residents, regular visitors to the town and newcomers alike. In addition, I am looking forward to featuring the works of local authors with the hope of introducing them to a wider readership and offering readers the opportunity to try something new.
When you are doing your Christmas shopping this year, make sure you buy at least one person a book. If nothing else they are extremely easy to wrap! Obviously I would prefer you to buy in a local bookshop, because although many of our books are second hand, some are in near new condition. Plus we have brand new editions from a growing number of local authors: fiction, poetry and non-fiction. However, if you prefer to buy your books online, don’t forget to seek out your local authors’ books, many of which are now available in the Kindle Store at a lower price. A book is a wonderful gift and a gateway into a world of entertainment and knowledge.
Unfortunately, an inverse law appears to have come into play in the world of TV: the more channels there are, the less there is to watch. Quantity at the expense of quality. So when ‘there’s nothing on the telly’, an almost daily refrain in my house, there are so many quality books to choose from. And you don’t have to wait for next week’s episode, or catch up on iplayer because you forgot about it; the next chapter is there ready and waiting. Remember, when the lights go out you can still read a book by candlelight; you can’t watch TV!
Coming soon – See A Side of Bridlington, an anthology of work by the Bridlington Library Writers’ Group. A perfect stocking filler.
Do you remember from your schooldays writing essays? Or perhaps you referred to them as compositions, for that is what they are: usually short and in prose, on any subject. Yet it is not a literary form that we see much of these days, people seeming to prefer fiction in the form of novels and short stories. Indeed the only collection of essays I can immediately lay my hands on at Lodge Books is George Orwell’s Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays, which includes his lament on the inferior quality of modern murders (an essay I recently re-read, but not for research purposes you understand), and his thoughts on the peculiar genius of Salvador Dali. A search on the internet reveals collections by such well known names as Robert Louis Stevenson, Virginia Woolf, Nancy Mitford and P J O’Rourke; so a decent pedigree. I can remember, in particular, reading James Thurber at school, perhaps not with a great deal of enthusiasm it has to be said, nevertheless I feel the urge to reacquaint myself with the ‘essay’.
And what about poetry? A lady came to me recently to enquire about the possibility of publishing a collection of children’s poetry; something I was happy to do. Unfortunately, I had to be brutally honest with her and say that is was unlikely to sell many copies. However we have published a couple of very readable collections by local authors: Diamond Lil and Other Gems by Trev Haymer; and The Unabridged Rivers of My Mind by Les Poetaster. Neither poet anticipates selling many books because, being realistic, we are no longer great readers of poetry, despite the fact that it is included in the GCSE and A-level syllabuses. I still remember the poets I studied for my (Scottish) ‘O’ and Higher grades – Edwin Muir, Louis MacNeice and Stephen Spender amongst them. How many of you memorised If by Rudyard Kipling (or was that just me?) and remember Night Mail by W H Auden, originally written for a 1936 documentary, but also used in a TV advert for the Royal Mail as I recall – they may even still be playing this in the mail train display at the National Railway Museum. So, whilst I make no claim to be a reader of poetry, I do like to dip a toe in the water now and again.
…flatten all the vowels and throw the ‘r’ away. The Proclaimers
I heard somewhere (or perhaps dreamt) recently that the spelling of the word sulphur is to be changed to sulfur. Why, I ask? Are we just pandering to the Americans yet again, or is this another example of dumbing down, although perhaps the two things are not mutually exclusive. The only reason for using American spellings would be if you were a writer writing specifically for the American market – they can’t cope with all those extra vowels in words such as labour and colour, bless them!
One of the great things about the English language, in my view, is the eccentricity of some of our spelling and pronunciation. I appreciate that this probably makes it a more difficult language to learn, but why do we have to make everything as easy as it can be? How dull and boring is that?
Another thing that makes English more interesting is all the words that we have adopted from other languages, and may I say that I believe we have been more discerning than the French in this. They have given us words such as restaurant and fait accompli, and have taken in return le camping and le weekend; surely with their supposed flair and creativity they could have come up with something more in keeping with their language of romance. And let’s not forget the Germans and their wonderful penchant (another French import) for compound nouns that give us words for which there is no direct English translation, but which are laden with meaning: schadenfreude and weltschmerz.
So, I say, let’s look to Europe and not America to maintain and enhance our language.
Have you ever read a book and thought that it would make a great film or TV drama? I recently read A Far Reaching Dream by local author Andrew Milner, and it did strike me that it would sit well as a one-off, post-watershed TV drama. Read it and let me know if you agree.
Conversely, have you watched something on the big (or small screen) and discovered that it was actually based on a novel or short story, and then been prompted to go out and buy the book? Personally, if I know, I always prefer to read the book first, so that I can interpret the story in my own way, rather than being influenced by a film or programme maker’s viewpoint. Although sometimes the film tells you all you want you know: I still haven’t read Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, having seen the film in the late 70s.
Obviously, adapting a three or four hundred page novel for the screen is no easy task, and some of the detail will be lost, but usually the main plotline remains intact. Although sometimes a key characteristic of the story is dropped, as for example in The Martian Child by David Gerrold: in the novelette, David is a gay, single man looking to adopt a child; in the film, starring the wonderful John Cusack, he is merely a single man. I do also wonder at the occasional change in title: why was it necessary to change the title of the book Schindler’s Ark, by Booker prize winning author Thomas Keneally, to Schindler’s List for the film version?
Some of my favourite adaptations include: High Fidelity by Nick Nornby; 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff; and Enigma by Robert Harris. What are yours?
Visit: www.andrewmilnerbooks.com for more information on A Far Reaching Dream.
“….that equated with his habit of reading bestsellers only years later.”
Night Train to Lisbon, Pascal Mercier
Just because a book is advertised as a bestseller does that necessarily make it worth your attention? Possibly, but the fact is that bestsellers tend not to be those books of high academic value or literary quality, though there will be exceptions, and they aren’t necessarily the most interesting or appealing. So what makes a bestseller?
A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling or frequently borrowed titles, and the lists refer to a given category over a stated period. Consequently, there are books that have sold many more copies than the contemporary bestseller, but over a longer time span. However, bestsellers have become very popular and it might be considered fashionable to buy them.
So, should you succumb to the marketing ploys of the large publishing houses in promoting their latest offerings or should you follow your own instincts and read something you have chosen to read, rather than something someone else insists you should be reading because it is in their interests for you to do so? Being a dedicated follower of that which is not fashion, I prefer to choose my own reading matter, but I do read some bestsellers, eventually, because some of them do actually live up to the hype.
Clearly, my advice would be to visit your local book shop and just browse until you find something that sparks your interest, bestseller or not. But then I would say that, wouldn’t I?
The great thing about being a reader is that you never get blocked and there’s always something new to read. The only inspiration a reader needs can be found in the local bookshop, or a well-stocked public or private library. Yes, I know there’s the internet as well, but that’s not really for browsing is it? When you buy on the net you generally have a good idea of what you are looking for; you are less likely to just happen upon something different and exciting.
Some say that the best writers are also avid readers, and I think that there is a lot of truth in that; although sadly it has never worked for me! And we are not talking about copying ideas here; reading other writers can help to hone your writing skills. It is an excellent way to learn what genre suits you and what style works for that genre. You can examine how others: handle dialogue; or weave fact into fiction, as in the historical novel; or reveal the perpetrator of the crime.
Having said that, reading your favourite authors can be a distraction and can cloud your own thoughts and ideas; some authors don’t read anything else whilst in the midst of their current work. As ever, the trick is to find what works for you as a writer.
So to all you readers out there, visit your local bookshops (e.g. Lodge Books and Burlington Books in the Old Town) and libraries, whilst you still have them, and be adventurous. Try new authors, new genres and support your local authors; you could be the first to discover a gem.
And to all you writers out there, thank you and keep churning ‘em out.
When you have finally finished your piece of writing whatever it may be, is it really necessary to go to the trouble (and possible expense) of having someone else read it through to check for errors and anomalies? No, of course it isn’t necessary, but if you want to publish your work then it is highly advisable, and I don’t just say that because I want the work. Its a question of quality control.
However attentive you are, you will inevitably make mistakes with spelling, punctuation and perhaps even grammar. Beware relying on spellchecker as it is not always your friend: firstly because of homophones i.e. words that sound the same but are different in meaning and spelling, for example ‘waist’ and ‘waste’; and secondly because it is so easy to just type a word that is correctly spelt but the context is wrong, like ‘of’ instead of ‘if’, and this may create a confusing if not incomprehensible sentence or phrase.
Other important factors to consider are consistency and continuity, and in the course of writing a novel say, it can be easy to loose track of earlier usage. For example, when using numbers in your text a general rule is that smaller numbers are spelled out whereas larger numbers are usually written in numeric form, but it can depend on the context. You should decide at the outset what format to go with, and then stick with it: so if you write ‘five o’clock’ in one chapter, don’t then switch to ‘11 o’clock’ elsewhere.
Unfortunately nit every proof-read is a good one, as local author Andy Hutchinson found out. He first published his debut, semi-autobiographical novel, Equally Insignificant, a few years ago, having paid a proof-reader to review the manuscript. A later proofread revealed many uncorrected errors, to the extent that the author decided to re-publish.
You may say that many people reading your story may not even be aware of minor errors, particularly if they are engrossed in the tail, and you may be right: surely the story is the most important part. Yes it is, but if a job’s worth doing it’s worth doing well: attention to detail will make for a better quality of book.
Did you spot the five deliberate errors above? Sorry no prizes.
I recently did a presentation to the Writers’ Group at Bridlington Library to let them know about Lodge Books and what we can offer in terms of publishing and proofreading to help them get their work in to print. It struck me that such a group provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring authors to meet like minded people and to benefit from the support and encouragement that this can offer.
This particular group meets on the first Friday of each month and encourages members to engage in specific writing tasks in order to practise and hone their writing skills. There is then an opportunity to review and comment on each other’s work and to discuss personal writing projects.
Among those present there were both published and unpublished authors, and I was impressed by their diversity and by the talent that clearly existed as a whole. I wondered how many such groups exist and how much work goes unpublished and unshared. At Lodge Books, our aim is to get people’s writing into print if only for their own benefit or to share with family and friends.
I was made most welcome during my visit to this group and I have no doubt that you would be too.
Other writers’ groups are available!
A piece of writing, be it a novel, short story, poem, play script, song lyric or biography, has to start somewhere; and it often starts with just the germ of an idea, that can then be developed. It can be something seen, heard or experienced: something seen in the street or from a bus window; a line from a song or phrase overheard in passing; or a memorable event in your life.
For Bridlington resident Bob Naylor the germ was his own name, and although it took some years to nurture its growth, the seed was planted in his boyhood years. He had been ribbed at school for having the same name as a famous Yorkshire born tenor of the 20s and 30s: one Robert Naylor.
Growing up in West Yorkshire, Bob had developed an interest in many forms of music and in the history of popular song. He went on to contribute articles to magazines and liner notes for record sleeves, and in time became increasingly intrigued by his erstwhile famous namesake. In 2010, after many years of painstaking research, he published, Robert Naylor: The Life and Times of a Yorkshire Tenor.
So, whatever your idea is, nurture it, develop it, research it and write about it.
Victor ran his fingers through his hair and placing his hand on his belt buckle, for no particular reason, he surveyed the carnage that lay before him. Joanie looked up into his eyes and said,
To be continued and published
….and then our father took a job in Hornsea, and once again we relocated, mother, Judy, Paul and I. The first relative to visit our new home was
To be continued and published
Do you have, squirreled away at the back of some cupboard or drawer, a treasure trove of stories and poems, written down or partially completed for no one to read? No, me neither. But some do, and modern technology is making it so much easier to get your work published.
No longer do you have to endure the disappointment of the publisher’s stock rejection letter and the deep-down knowledge that they probably haven’t even read your manuscript anyway. You can publish your own work yourself (or have someone help you) as a paperback, an ebook, a blog – the world is your oyster. And the good people of Bridlington and East Yorkshire are doing just that.
Take Trev Haymer, originally of Halifax, now of Bridlington, who has just published his collection of thirteen short stories on a diverse range of subjects ranging from the horrific, to the humorous and the melancholy. Entitled “Inside Trevor’s Shorts” this collection includes: “One More Digit”, which tells of the surprising results when a pensioner tackles an intruder; and “Little Bow”, telling of a young boy’s traumatic coming-of-age in 16th century Wales. There is something for everyone.
So if you are now thinking that you could do that, or have already done it, then be brave. It is possible for you too to become a published author, and Lodge Books can help you realise that dream.
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