Christmas Musings 2018: The Hidden Side of Bookshops

Letters from an antiquarian bookseller and to a gentleman publisher reveal a wonderful, and largely lost, world of books. Tom Gauld’s postcards, on the other hand, show a world that is very much alive, and will appeal to writers (successful or struggling), book-buyers and all readers.

DEAR HOWARD: Tales Told in Letters
David Batterham
Antiquarian bookseller David Batterham admits that booksellers are often rather odd. He spent many years scouring the world in search of rare and forgotten books and, frequently alone, he would write to his friend, the painter Howard Hodgkin, neither expecting nor receiving a reply. Mostly written in cheap cafés and restaurants, these letters portray a wonderfully bohemian world and reveal the author’s sharp eye for the absurd and bizarre.
£12.95 Hardback

DEAR MR MURRAY: Letters to a Gentleman Publisher
David McClay
Two hundred and fifty years ago, the first John Murray founded his eponymous publishing house. The archive contains thousands of letters chronicling friendships, animosities, hurt feelings, drunken brawls and some of the greatest titles of English literature. Charles Darwin, Arthur Conan Doyle, Lord Byron, David Livingstone, Jane Austen and Patrick Leigh Fermor are amongst the correspondents featured.
£16.99 Hardback

THE SNOOTY BOOKSHOP: Fifty Literary Postcards
Tom Gauld
For over a decade Tom Gauld’s comic strips have enlivened the Guardian. His wicked sense of humour attacks bookshops, customers and authors in a gentle yet astute way with ‘Poetry Anthologies for People Who Don’t Like Poetry’ and a ten-week procrastination course for creative writers. Hatchards is, of course, nothing like this.
£12.99 Hardback, with 50 easy to pull-out cards

To order any of these books please email books@hatchards.co.uk, telephone (020 7439 9921) or, better still, visit the shop this festive season. From now until December 23rd, we are open from Mondays to Saturdays 9am to 9pm and 12.30pm to 6.30pm on Sundays. On Christmas Eve, we shall be open 9am to 6pm. We look forward to seeing you.

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