Happy New Year. We want to start by thanking all our wonderful customers for their support in 2018 which culminated in us winning Independent Retailer of the Year at The Halifax Courier Business Awards. It was a fantastic way to end our first year of trading and we want to thank everyone who played a part in getting us there. We are a very passionate, dedicated team and it was a proud moment for us.
Thank you for keeping us super busy throughout December. We hope you all had stacks of books to open on Christmas Day and plenty of time to read them in.
We had several great events in November and December.
Andrew Bibby did a book signing for his non-fiction English landscape book Back Roads Through Middle England.
Horatio Clare came to talk about his latest book – The Light in the Dark:A Winter Journal.
Martine McDonagh did a book signing for her latest title Narcissism For Beginners.
Local author Ben Myers is moving publishers to Bloomsbury so we had a farewell evening and book signing with him and his current Hebden Bridge based publishers Bluemoose Books. The Gallows Pole is our best-selling title, we sold 244 copies in December alone!
The Quality Street Girls by Penny Thorpe was our second biggest selling title in December with 180 copies sold. Penny came in to meet her readers and sign some copies.
This pile features our best-selling titles from our adult fiction, non-fiction and poetry sections. Lots of people must have unwrapped a copy of John Cooper Clarke’s latest collection on Christmas Day as we sold 51 copies.
There was a lovely range of children’s Christmas books to choose from.
We are working on our programme of events for 2019, keep checking here for news, as well as on our Twitter,Facebook and Instagram.
We are very excited to announce the dates for the second Halifax Festival of Words , 4th – 6th October. Get the dates in your diary!
Two weekends ago we had the enormous pleasure of co-hosting the inaugural Halifax Festival of Words with The Grayston Unity , a local, independent, award winning bar and live music venue. We are immensely proud to have been part of bringing this fantastic event to Halifax.
Taking place across 3 venues in Halifax it included punk poetry, a suffragette choir, a T.S.Eliot prize shortlisted poet, a dragon egg trail, a guest appearance by a sheep dog, live music and a whole list of fantastic authors.
On the Friday night we had a really interesting event on how to get into publishing with Kevin and Hetha Duffy of Bluemoose Books .
On Saturday morning we had a great event for Bookworms with Harry Heape and his Shiny Pippin series.
We were delighted to be hosting the launch of local author Liz Flanagan’s brilliant new book Dragon Daughter. We had a trail around the Piece Hall to find the last four dragon eggs and then Liz read from her book whilst we made dragon masks and ate dragon buns.
Our next event was a discussion between Sarah Dunnakey and Linda Green on A Sense of Place: How the Calder Valley Shaped Our Writing. The conversation was fascinating and the audience was really engaged.
Our big Saturday night event was Turn The Page 8, a regular poetry/spoken word/open mic night hosted by Katie Atkinson. It was a celebratory event as it was the first birthday of Turn The Page. There was a wide variety of wonderful speakers and musicians.
Sunday morning started with a reading for Bookworms from local author Cathy Calvert and star of her book Ned.
Marilyn Gwizdak Greenwood gave a talk about her novel The Whistler in which she discusses her Polish family’s experiences in the second world war. The choir Marilyn is part of sang which ended the event beautifully.
Suffrage historian Jill Liddington gave a fascinating talk on how local suffragettes helped win women the vote in Halifax, and what they did with it afterwards.
One of the best things about the weekend was how many local people got involved, it had a genuine grassroots (or should that be urbanroots) feel and celebrated the amazing heritage of the town against the stunning back drop of the Victorian market hall and the architectural gem of the Piece Hall.
We had an unbelievable amount of support from local writers, publishers and musicians, who got on board with the vision with a huge amount of enthusiasm. It has been wonderful promoting their work and raising the profile of some of the amazing talent in the Calder Valley.
We are proud to have carried this through from the germ of an idea to a vibrant and exciting celebration of homegrown northern talent.
Last weekend we were lucky enough to welcome Alexander McCall Smith when he joined us at The Piece Hall for Cream Tea and conversation. A full house and a wonderful atmosphere as our audience enjoyed a beautiful home-made cream tea served by our friends at The Deli, while listening to a mix of poetry, readings and anecdotes, covering his life and work as he celebrates 20 years of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency.
Director of the Huddersfield Literature Festival Michelle Hodgson was interviewing, and together they discussed Alexander’s new books including the stand alone novel The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse, his poetry anthology A Gathering, and the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ series. He also talked about his children’s books and there was a special moment when Alexander bought and signed a copy of this latest children’s book for a young fan.
He finished the afternoon with a browse in the shop, and left us with a wonderful quote…
“what a pleasure to go into a bookshop like this! Temptation upon temptation! And what a pleasure to yield…” Alexander McCall Smith, The Book Corner 2018