Wednesday 26 November 2014

A blog from the bookshop about collecting books on collecting, James Patterson and reading the American teenager and some sort ramble

The last time I went around my bookshop looking up all the books and making sure they were cheaper than you could buy them on the internet was about eighteen months ago and I have just started the process again.

I started today on the antiques and collecting section, I have only done the bit covering clocks and instruments. There is marked change to last time I did this, which is mostly that the steady reduction in prices seems to have levelled out.

The main way I determine the right price for a book is to look it up on Amazon and then check it against the sold listings on ebay. A key here being that anyone can list anything online for any price they like, but the history of people actually buying something and what they have paid for it is a very different thing.

When I last adjusted the prices of the books on my shelves I would say around half of them had sold for less on ebay in three months prior to looking them up. Of course this does mean that around 50% could have been bought cheaper in my bookshop.

This time the amount those that have sold cheaper on ebay than I have them on the selves for is around 10%. Sorting out the antiques and collecting section this way just isn’t enough to produce a large enough amount of price reductions to keep the stock alive so I have resorted to the pre internet method of reducing books that have been on the shelf too long as well.

I have decided that the way forward with non-fiction sections is to make part of them entirely books that are priced for less than £1.

The pricing structure in my bookshop means that books priced for less than £20 go out on the shelves the rest go on shelving behind the till and people have to ask to look at them. a major factor here is that many expensive books are expensive because they are delicate item that have survived in fine condition, so this is an essential.

This picture shows the clock part of the book stock that isn’t out on the shelves priced between £20 and £200

You then go onto clock related books that are more expensive.

Or you can go out on a limb with the fragile stuff that is both very scarce but not that expensive.

I have also been labelling up the craft section that I sorted out recently.

The old problem of small and delicate books I have tried to solve here with a separate bookcase.

On to James Patterson who has started a campaign to save the book, part of which is to petition the president of America and senior politician to be see regularly carrying a book. You can look on his facebook page if you want to know more about this

The main thing that this is about is that in America the teenage reading problem seems to have gone critical.

The average American teenager watches more than three hours of video entertainment a day...And reads books for less than eight minutes a week. As the amount of reading people do is directly related to how the succeed in life, their ability to concentrate and the standard of education the achieve this is a serious one.         

Using the internet and even e-books isn’t the whole answer, I myself am researching various aspects of historic shipbuilding at the moment and on several occasions have bought e-books or in one case a print on demand book where either the print quality or the gibberish related to ocr was so bad that I have just bought the expensive original book.

With young people however I am concerned that a very big issue is that they learn by example and if their parents aren’t seen by them to be reading books, borrowing books from the library, buying books and owning books then they are less likely to read themselves. I don’t think mum and dad staring at a gadget cuts the mustard, even if the gadget is some sort of electronic reader.

The ramble comes next, the Manston issue is still rumbling on online, however my take is that it isn’t in the forefront of most people’s minds at the moment, however I will try my best to summarise the position at the moment next.  

Well I have just had a glance at the Save Manston Airport Facebook page and at the moment a lot of the members seem convinced that cabinet are going to turn down the cpo so there is much ranting about not voting for the cabinet.

I think the point that has perhaps been missed is that you would have to be a resident in a particular member’s ward to vote for them and of course most of the cabinet members have safe seats anyway.

Delving deeper there, convincing arguments; like instead of the council listening to their own solicitors to see if the firms wishing to deal with the council pose any risk to the council why don’t the council listen to the solicitors of the firms wishing to deal with the council.   

To be honest it wasn’t a very encouraging delve regardless of what your intentions are for the Manston site. I suppose anything makes sense one you have formed a Delaware LLC or a Virgin Islands company.

 Since moving the blog here nearly all of the old spam comments have disappeared and I am getting a much more realistic idea of the number of people reading the current active posts as the stats don’t include all the people accessing the thousands of old posts on Thanetonline. The active readership seems to be about 250 per day, but I am developing a completely new type of spam from people trying to promote their books.     


Anonymous said...

Double standards by KCC have come to light recently. Over in west Kent recent changes to flight paths at Gatwick mean that more aircraft are over flying West Kent towns and villages including some night flights. So KCC are opposing a second runway at Gatwick. When it was an airport, KCC were pro flights over Ramsgate including night flights. I am not sure whether its just the council's political leader Paul Carter who sets these policies or the paid council staff but certainly it seemed to be another example of protecting the vote in west kent.

God help us said...

Interesting that SMA believe Riveroak has fallen over. I bet they think it isn't Riveroaks fault. It can't be TDC have been burned once over a company that cannot be forced to pay up or even identified as SFP weren't able to be held accountable. Have they considered that should RO succeed and it goes pear shaped how accountable TDC become. I have never heard of a Council being wound up for failure to pay, however this is so serious it could mean TDC in special measures if RO had succeeded and then revoked the deal.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the SMA will do after the 11th when the decision goes against them. As far as I can see that is the end of the democratic route. I have heard some of them talking about legal action. Would they really take this to the high court? If so, where would they get the money? I can't believe many would be prepared to donate for such a weak case.

Anonymous said...

Spot on Barry. Too much risk for TDC. They could be waving their indemnity agreement (Guarantee in our time like poor old Chamberlain) at the same time as RO are waiving it back right at them !

On a different Manston note the MOD are now overdue to answer FOI about Exercises Waterland and Margarita 1989 and 1990.

Anonymous said...

Both Pleasurama and Manston raise serious questions over TDC dodgy deals. As does the £3m secret ferry deal and now the Pavilion.

Suing Cllr Driver over Pleasurama is symptomatic of the failure and incompetence. Did Iris approve this use of tax?

Unknown said...

It has been clear that RiverOak have been a strange company to do business with as far as in being a Delaware registered company and only being setup to CPO the airport you have to ask yourself why make it impossible for TDC officers to give you the go ahead. I can see Cllrs having the wool pulled over their eyes but not the officers on this but if riverOak were that interested then the parent company would have had dealings with TDC and made it far easier

It's sad to see Cllr Ian Driver having to pay for legal costs not that I think his cause was just, it's because of legal aid being taken away from people. Who then cant afford to have the law protect them. I think the people who egged Ian on into this and supported his actions should help him with the costs. I know if it were me I would feel a way to put my hand in my pocket and help him out with a grand or two. Lets hope his supporters dont leave him hanging out to face this huge bill on his own.

I see both Manston Pickle fb posts are still standing. You would think that Iris would have had some sense not to go meeting up with people who are trying to get the council to CPO land on their behalf on her own in a different country. You wonder what could have been only given not emailed or posted to her at her TDC address????? Also the minutes of the meeting where the 4000 RiverOak houses have not been changed you would have to wonder why after the pressure that was put on Manston Pickle it has not been retracted or changed????

Did you see the fantastic turnout from SMA with their 8000 fb members only managed around 40 people at the TDC protest last night in Margate, It just goes to show how local councils can be misled into thinking more people want something that really do

Anonymous said...

What I would like to see Iris working towards (I will email her) is the trend for developers to pay a fee to local authority for social housing provision rather than include it in their development and light their sales.

It is worth looking at as Manston that way can market to people who will improve the area by bringing in working families. Then TDC get a funding boost to house Thanet's very own home grown unemployables.

I would also like to see TDC take a lead in resilience planning for the Manston housing development. IE An estate with its own dedicated backup power supply. Or even its own facility to sell power to grid as well as be resilience for the estate.

IE Bring industrial resilience into housing planning and, for once, Thanet be at the leading edge with its local industry able to develop and exploit this market.

Such planning innovation will also support a trend towards working from home.

Anonymous said...

I think it a way to deal with Section 106 affordable housing requirements. If compliance would make a development commercially unviable (blighted by prospect of housing mix) then off site provision of affordable housing can be the way round it.Also a way to stop a new build being an instant sink estate.

Anonymous said...

I would also like to see a better version of "Self Build Trail" than was innovated by Milton Keynes (Where self builds ended up as too big for their plots and to an imposed uniformity of design)

IE a sprinkling of plots allocated for self builds. And like resilience planning we also bring in another market development idea. And act to attract the industrious sort of people Thanet needs. Self builders.

One part of TDC that has always been good and helpful is Building Inspectors. Self builders should have no fear to build in Thanet. The Inspectors (at least in my day) were always helpful with advice. Work with them, seek their advice, act on it and you get a pass first time every time. Which is why we did not want to let cllrs know how well things worked in case they nosed in and ruined it down to the standards of much of TDC admin !

Anonymous said...

I still think the vast majority of the Save Manston group seem to think that TDC just say we want a CPO please and they get one.... they fail to realise that it is the start of a very very long chain of legal cases so TDC need a watertight business case before they would even consider it.

The new Riveroak company could step back at any point and leave TDC with huge legal fees bill with very little comeback against a Limited Liability Company with no assets

Anonymous said...

I thought we covered that with RiverOak waving bye and waiving liability. Then moved on to addressing other SMA doom lines about "Sink estates" of London's most antisocial ne'er do wells. trying to shift the debate from cynical warnings to how to seize opportunities.

River Oak were never going to get a CPO. The question was always whether TDC would be stupid and gullible enough to try. That latter option being one I wouldn't have bet against.

Anonymous said...

The latest in a long line of petitions....

God help us said...

Just seen this posted
Date: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 11:31:17 +0000
Dear Dxxxxx
Thank you for your correspondence regarding considering the case for turning Manston airport into the UK’s main international hub airport, in light of the recent decision by the Airports Commission not to shortlist the Thames Estuary proposal.
In 2012, Transport for London’s Aviation team considered many potential sites for a new hub airport. They short-listed around 20 options for further analysis. These sites were assessed against a set of criteria that were informed by a public consultation.
Three sites performed most strongly against these criteria, and were developed as detailed proposals. One of them is the Isle of Grain.
Manston airport was one of the sites considered in TfL’s first round of analysis. However, Manston was deemed an unsuitable location for a new hub airport for several reasons, principally:
• Distance from London and travel times by rail and road: Manston is around 60 miles from Central London. International best practice suggests that city centre journey times by rail should be less than 45 minutes. Brand new high speed rail connections to Manston would struggle to achieve this. It would be a very difficult location for many to speedily connect to by road, and it is more remote from key areas of the Thames Gateway regeneration area, than sites further west.
• The potential noise impacts: The noise impact of a large international airport can be immensely detrimental to those living nearby. This is one of the primary reasons why Heathrow cannot be expanded further. If Manston were to be expanded to provide the level of hub airport capacity that the UK requires, the effect on the neighbouring communities of Ramsgate and Margate would be profound.
In comparison, a new hub airport on the Isle of Grain would not only be much easier to access for most, but it would expose far fewer people to potentially harmful levels of noise. The planned transport links will provide journey times of less than 30 minutes to a range of key central London locations.
The Mayor’s view is that the Isle of Grain remains the best option to build a new hub airport. As you may have seen and heard in the media, the Mayor is not deterred from pursuing his vision, which predates the establishment of the Airports Commission by some years.
Ultimately, the decision on how to solve the UK’s airport capacity shortage will be taken not by the Airports Commission, but by the next Government. It will not be mandated by the Airports Commission and will be mindful of the political difficulties that led the last plan for expansion at Heathrow to be scrapped. Similarly, it will recognise that a new runway at Gatwick will do nothing to increase long-haul connections to economically important cities in China and South America
Thank you for taking the time to write to the Mayor on this important issue.
Yours sincerely
TFL Aviation Unit

Anonymous said...

Transport for London are, perhaps the best qualified people in the country to talk about the noise impacts of airports. Read again their words: "The potential noise impacts: The noise impact of a large international airport can be immensely detrimental to those living nearby. This is one of the primary reasons why Heathrow cannot be expanded further. If Manston were to be expanded to provide the level of hub airport capacity that the UK requires, the effect on the neighbouring communities of Ramsgate and Margate would be profound." Yet the pro-airport protesters, who have far less knowledge and experience than TFL, continue to ignore the noise impacts and continue to pretend that an airport would have no impact.