Tim Coates calls a spade a spade

Link: Publishing News – News Home Page – Batt to stand down at MLA.

" CHRIS BATT IS to stand down from his post as Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council at the end of this year. Batt took up the post in December 2003, overseeing library reforms such as the ‘Framework for the Future’ document outlining long-term strategy for the service………. One of Batt’s most vocal critics, library campaigner Tim Coates, has said the vacancy now creates a great opportunity for the service. “It is a chance to put things right and take a different and better path which addresses what the public wants. Batt led the move to reduce the number of books in libraries and, along with an expected reshuffle by Gordon Brown later this year, it could mean a clean slate and a much needed fresh approach.”  "

As regular readers know, Petrona’s longstanding advice to Tony Blair, when he decides to quit,  is to hand the country over to Tim Coates, and not to Gordon Brown or anyone else. But if for some unknown reason he doesn’t take up that sensible suggestion, this latest news might put another idea into his head. 

The bloggers’ creed, or jumping the shark

Well, is Peter of Detectives Beyond Borders right?

"For sharks, the credo is keep swimming, or die. For bloggers, it’s keep posting, or die."

What’s the one most essential principle of blogging?

Publishers swimmingly; retailers haltingly

From today’s Times (Saturday’s weekly books supplement), a note pointing out that publishers complain that booksellers charge them too much for book promotion. Jodi Picoult’s latest is cited as being on special offer at all the chains,  evidence that retailers are stifling variety? Well, Waterstone’s and WH Smith have recently announced flat results, and Borders is up for sale. On the other hand, Random House, Hachette, Penguin, HarperCollins and Simon&Schuster have all announced healthy profits.

One book description that caught my eye is "Adverbs" by Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). Adverbs is a set of linked short stories set in and around San Francisco, concerning the attempts by a group of characters to find love. Each story has an adverb as the title: Immediately, Soundly, Collectively, etc. According to the Times reviewer, "beautifully written and very funny, these stories are inventive as they are engaging." (UK price is £7.99 but presumably cheaper in your local Watertsone’s, Borders or WHS.)