February Best Sellers

There’s a promise in the air that Spring will eventually come. (perhaps more quickly for me as I will soon escape to the Caribbean for a couple of weeks). February is often a slow month for the Bookstore but this year was particularly poor so we look forward to March. The best-sellers list –given below-is shorter than usual. An interesting characteristic of the bookstore is that we sell such a wide variety of books that best-sellers do not dominate our revenues. With the issue of the paperback version of The Orenda in mid-month, Joseph Boyden’s story of life among the Hurons at the time of the early European contact surged back to the top of the list. Margaret MacMillan’s remarkable history of the years before the First World War (frightening when we compare with the Ukraine and even Syria today) is still on the list. An unusual item is poetry –Redshift by Patrick White, the former Ottawa Poet Laureate.  This was the subject of a special author event at the store in mid-February. The poet has since died and there was an eloquent obituary column by Robert Sibley in the Ottawa Citizen of March 3rd.

We’re upgrading the equipment at the store; for example, new computers that will be faster and less prone to problems. We hope the migration will go smoothly but please be patient if there are any issues with the transition. There is also a new portable, lighter weight credit card reader.

We are negotiating for a special shipment of books-about a thousand- that will go on sale later this month as part of our Book Bargain Month. The details are not yet finalised but we expect to announce it here soon. Watch this space for details.

Some of you regularly use our on line bookstore (store.booksonbeechwood.ca) for browsing and ordering books but it is underutilised. There is also a terminal in the store that displays the site. You can search for books or authors, see what is in stock, what is already on order and what you would need to “special order”. You get brief descriptions of each book and author. You can save your own lists of books for future reference. You can browse by category, examine lists of national bestsellers or look for forthcoming titles and see their publication dates. It is a great resource for booklovers. You can order on line for in store pick-up or arrange delivery.

I intend to start a new review feature called “Teen Reads” on our website. We have a good selection of books in stock in the Section called “Youth” at the bookstore but we would like to encourage more interest. The new book reviews will be carried out by teenagers (we reserve the right to do some editing). We have a resident reviewer to start with but we invite submissions from others. They should be no more than 350 words, say one paragraph about the book –or series-and one paragraph on the readers reaction and recommendation.  This would make a class good project for English teachers! Send the best results to us and we will give credit to authors and their schools. Send any submissions to peter.dawson@iridian.ca.