Friday, May 30, 2008

Something from me

I know it's tragic, but I get on my 49cc scooter and this song starts up in my head...

Summink fur the weekend

Brilliant brilliant video for brilliant brilliant song;

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our staff still write books you know...

It's not just glam Marie, who signed my proof copy of Gods Behaving Badly and then added "as written at Crockatt & Powell!" - no -

Jane's at it too! Yes, that's just one of her books up above. We've sold two copies already. Jane waits, all quiet, no mention until it's through the till then she pounces - to the delight of both customers - who have quickly asked her to sign their books then asked advice. Note to "managers" everywhere. The trick is to attract staff that are brilliant - they make you look good too...

PS The pic is from Amazon. But why buy books from a robot when you can buy them from the author?

Dr Rick Recommends

Robert Olen Butler, a name I'd only happened across in passing but apparently brilliant and underrated. Certainly sounds like an interesting bloke. Looking forward to reading Severance his collection of 240-word short stories about the post-beheading thoughts of decapitated individuals...

dum da da da dum dum dum dum dum da da da dum dum dum dum dum da da da dum dum dum dum dah dah! dum dum dum!

The new Faulks James Bond goes on sale today. We have 16 signed copies between the shops. 3 gone already from Waterloo. Get yours quick...

Monday, May 26, 2008

Richard Rocks!

We've had a rave review from Richard over on his FFC related blog Craven Cottage Newsround.

Cheers mate! Hope you like the Zweig...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

See Post Below

I think he's talking about this...

We Are Top The League Say We Are Top The League...

...according to the Independent! Does not seem to be a web link but there we are at number one.

Brilliant stuff. A great pressie for the opening of our new shop on the Fulham Road.

Why not much blogging from me past few days? Too busy having a great time in SW10...

Morning Team!

So, it's the two cities, Bristol and Hull, playing for mega-riches up in Wemberley (which I saw for the first time up close and personal on thursday night - nice arch but essentially an underwhelming bowl) For those of you unable to be there or to watch on the telly, like Matthew and I bestriding our vast bookselling empire, let me pass on a link that may ease your pain if you happen to be close to superfast broadband. Seems to only open in Internet Explorer and you have to download some software to play the feeds but it works pretty well. Needless to say, C&P take no responsibility for the links on this page...


Friday, May 23, 2008

From the file marked, 'Bleedin' Obvious'

We here in the booktrade are so lucky to have the services of such wonderful people as Market Researchers

I particularly liked:

'Commenting on the findings, BML Research Director Steve Bohme said: “What fascinates me about the research is that the heaviest book buyers don't always seem to be the most responsive to marketing messages. You often hear people in the trade questioning why so much of the industry's marketing efforts seem targeted towards the younger end of the market, when it is older people who tend to buy more books.
“This research supports the direction of these marketing efforts, with younger, typically lighter buyers appearing more open to the per­suasive powers of cover design, adverts, charts and prizes.”

And blimey, I can read the rest of the report for the knockdown bargain price of just £395! On a PDF no less! Where's my cheque book!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I'm here...

...he's there.

I've just discovered you can 'customise' the blog...

hours of fun...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Second book sold

Don't ask. Please, just don't ask...

First Book!

And the winner is...Alberto Manguel's The Library At Night

I think that's a great book to be the first sold at C & P Fulham Road. Weird as well. The first book we sold at C & P Waterloo was Bret Easton Ellis's Lunar Park.

In a recent interview Manguel was asked if he had ever removed a book from his library. Only one:

"Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, because I felt that it was infecting my library"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Beautiful Evidence: A Taste...

So that's the view from behind the till. Lots of lovely books eh? Walnut veneer for the shelving. That long display unit for hardbacks is lovely, the books slide into your hand. You can see a bit of the sign on the floor there - we are very nearly done.

Maybe if we had spent less time chilling out here and reading the London Review of Books we would have opened sooner! But I'm joking you. There are people out there have us down as a couple of lazy chancers. In fact we've been working rather hard.

It's a real communal effort. Adam designed it. Jan built it. Charlie painted the sign. Mary did the garden (in a day!) What did I do again? Well, I must have done something.

We are desperate to get started now. It's going to be great fun. We have some excellent folk joining us - Stuart, Jane and Claire - all excellent booksellers with plenty of experience. We think Thursday...

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Only Thing Keeping Me Going... my love of the Ukulele...

I'm Such A Pain...

What an ars* I am to be around at the minute.

Grumpy, irritable, prone to random and extreme fluctuations of mood.

Sorry Maz, sorry Adam, sorry Gemma, sorry Charlie, sorry Lucy and Natalie, sorry Jake, sorry Henry and apologies to anyone else I have been grumpy with etc in the last couple of days.

Still, the sign for the new shop is finished. But it's not up yet. It's sitting here in Lower Marsh, propped against a wall. Looks lovely though, hand painted in our legendary cellar by Charlie (who is almost certainly really Banksy BTW).

Need to open shop.

Need to open shop.

(Hear that thumping? That's me banging my head against the wall.)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pompey chimes

Every half an hour or so another train comes into Waterloo station from Portsmouth and you can hear what sounds like an asiatic horde just behind the shop - 'Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up!'

Unnerving and strangely exhilerating...

Tha magic of the cup, eh?

Hey Marie - Your New Paperback Is In The Window!

Not only did it arrive in a box with a book of fiction inspired by the music of Sonic Youth - there are loads of great quotes all over it.

We'll get you down to Chelsea just as soon as we're open...

Friday, May 16, 2008

Update or Are You Really Opening Another Bookshop Or Is It Just A Joke?

Charlie has finished painting the sign in our cellar.

The shelving is done.

Display units, tables and the till under construction and finished "very soon".

Other tweaks and little bits of snagging will be completed with the shop open.


Believe me, it's harder for us than it is for you.

Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Give a man a sub-prime fish loan and you're in business, buddy.

It's our job here at Crockatt & Powell to bring people's attention to things they may not have come across before or atleast to remind them of things they may have already seen.

Today, it's the Colbert Report on Comedy Central - satirical genius.

And here he is at the Whitehouse Correspondent's dinner in 2006 in front of dubya. Almost painful...

He's not always right...

...but he is this time.

The man who dismissed my currant literary darling James Kelman as an "illiterate savage" is on great form in the Graun today - dissing the e-book reader - "re-launched more times than New Labour" and finishing off with a flourish"Long after emails have been wiped, tapes have decayed, CDs have rusted and computers have crashed books will remain as silent witnesses on the shelf. Power lies in their simplicity and indestructibility. They are a habit we will never kick. We love them because we know they are forever."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ant n Dec of the booktrade?

I don't think so. Back in the day we posted this about stickers.

It was penned (typed) by Marie who is now a megastar author but at that stage she was a mere bookseller/strugglingauthor.

But we are not the only stickerhaters. Alberto Manguel dislikes them too. This is from p17 of his latest (and beautiful) book The Library at Night.

"Old or new, the only sign I always try to rid my books of (usually with little success) is the price-sticker that malignant booksellers attach to the backs. These evil white scabs rip off with difficulty, leaving leprous wounds and traces of slime to which adhere the dust and fluff of ages, making me wish for a special gummy hell to which the inventor of these stickers would be condemned."

So you see, we are not like Ant n Dec, we are a lot more like Alberto Manguel who, as we all know, is a serious, intelligent and thoughtful man.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Americans are so friendly...

Banksy has brought a few newcomers to the area. We now have a tourist industry on Lower Marsh - sort of...

I just had a conversation with some lovely American ladies who were just really friendly. Why do the English find it so hard to be friendly? Or is it just us Londoners? The default setting seems to be to assume everyone is a child-killer or potential terrorist. Well these ladies apologised for not buying books (too heavy for their suitcases) but they spent money on cards and listened to my Banksy stories. They even laughed in a good natured manner when I showed them the remains of the piece on our side wall.

Have a nice day America!


I was contemplating getting some tickets for the play-off final but then thought better of it.

Thought for the Day

If you drop a frog into boiling water it will leap out straight away unharmed. If you drop a frog into cold water and then gently heat it up, it will not notice until it's been boiled alive...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sombrero Fallout... who were those mysterious Mexicans down in Portsmouth on Sunday?

Legend has it their blow-up "woggle" held the key to Fulham FC GREAT ESCAPE.

After a debut appearance at Reading the "woggle" (and a variety of other inflatable objects) managed to keep Fulham afloat.

Needless to say Fulham are the most literary side in the Premier League. Not only is Roy Hodgson a J P Donleavy fan, quoting from Schultz in pre-match interviews - the phrase "The pen is mightier than the sword" was first thought up by Edward Bulwer-Lytton who used to live IN Craven Cottage! Ok, so he now has a prize for bad writing named after him but still, how many so-called good writers can claim to have famous lines of their writing remembered for hundreds of years? He also wrote "It was a dark and story night" - perhaps the most infamous opening line in history.

Yeah, that was quite a day. Interviewed on Setanta and Sky TV then watching a miracle happen before our disbelieving eyes. I'll take a relegation scrap over winning the league every time, so long as there's staying up at the end of it!

Incidentally I'm engrossed in James Kelman's Kieron Smith, Boy at the moment and there's a fantastic description of Kieron being hoisted over the turnstiles to see a Rangers VS Celtic game. Then there's BS Johnson's The Unfortunates that contains a description of a Man City game, there's Hornby's Fever Pitch...I could go on...

There's no shame in loving football and books. But wearing a silly hat and 'tache is just pure drunken daftness!

That will do nicely Sir!

In anticipation of a large number of American Express transactions down SW10, C&P now accept Amex!

What's 4 1/2% between friends?!

Glory days are here again!

I can almost taste it it's so close...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Any ideas?

Someone has hijacked an old email address of ours to send out spam. Any ideas how to combat the fiends?

Not for the vertiginously challenged

I don't suffer from vertigo but my palms were sweaty watching this. Maybe because it's sort of like running your own business; one wrong step...

Bookseller Wars!

Now that Fulham have survived the drop and Matthew is floating somewhere in the stratosphere it's time to turn our attention to the much more important issue of getting Bristol City up into the premiership.

These good people are on the city side, unfortunately this good person in deepest darkest South London is a Palace supporter. Let battle commence! Cummon City!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Derelict London

Great website spawns new book...

Available at C & P now.


"When Fulham's Pan Bookshop abruptly closed at the end of last year, simultaneously with the nearby Waterstone's on Old Brompton Road, other booksellers spotted an opportunity. First to react have been Matthew Crockatt and Adam Powell, who run the fine independent Crockatt & Powell behind Waterloo station. Today they open their second branch, across the road from the former Pan shop (where they both used to work). The shop will continue their distinctive formula: eschewing mass-market bestsellers and traditional genre sections in favour of an eclectic literary range, where people can make discoveries and be inspired."

Joel from The Boookseller writes a regular column for the Guardian about book industry stuff. This is from that column today - lovely stuff, all very complimentary etc. (thanks Joel!)

Sadly we are not quite open in Fulham yet - next week. Watch this space. It will be worth the wait...

Friday, May 09, 2008

Anticipation is Nine Tenths of Desire...or Ooops...

Oh blimey, it's all coming together or rather it's all going totally pear-shaped, depending on how you look at it.

We are not going to be open tomorrow - apologies to anyone who may have read otherwise but these things are not an exact science. We thought we would be open by now. But we're not...

Next week, yes.

And then there were the books that arrived. Several tonnes of books. Were Crockatt & Powell there to receive them? Nope. Crockatt was in Lower Marsh. And Powell had nipped off for a shower at his posh gym.

Campbell from Bertrams saved the day (thanks mate!) organising the grumpy delivery driver and a couple of blokes from Woodhams - the excellent garden geezers - into an impromptu chain gang.

A chaotic day so far.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Reading between the lines...

... they think Foyles is too big.


For all of you following the US presidential race (Obama/McCain Vs. Brown/Cameron - I know which one I'd rather watch) this is brilliant stuff, as usual, from The Onion:

McCain Vows To Replace Secret Service With His Own Bare Fists

And this is genius too... (unrelated)

Thanks F

We have such great customers.

What could be better than a cool beer on a hot afternoon?

I'll tell you - some lovely person bringing you a cool beer on a hot afternoon!

Thanks F...


I was in the new shop last night for the first time in a while. It looks amazing. I know I say so myself but it's adam and Jan who take the credit so far - adam for the design and Jan for making it reality.

We are about to open one of the most beautiful bookshops in London.

Apologies again for blowing trumpets's true.

Today the garden is being landscaped. Yup - the garden.

Looks like we won't be open till next week, but all good things are worth waiting for they say...

This calls for some sh*t hot ukulele music methinks!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I don't think this is a Banksy post...

...but what is this tagging lark eh?

Lucyfishwife tagged us the other day but I have no clue what that means.

Now the bookseller crow is at it as well.

Why do I feel so old and foolish all the time? I am only a bit over 30.

You can't hurry bookshops...


Our self imposed deadline of opening this weekend didn't really accommodate Jan the Builder's schedule (which he is on, by the way). Looking like next week now, probably tuesday.

Everything's run just a little too smoothly so far so a small delay at this stage is only to be expected...'s lookin' the part though.

Are we nearly there yet?

Almost children...almost...

Apologies for the grumpy tone of late. A list of my ailments:

1: RSI right wrist.

2: Stiff neck.

3: Blurred vision.

4: More brain damage.

5: Coffee addiction the likes of which has never been seen before.

6: Symptoms of coffee withdrawal - very jagged and nasty.

7: Forgetting what the seventh thing was between thinking about it and trying to type it.

We are very nearly done. The books are being oredered as I blog, isbns buzzing down those wires. The boxes will arrive on Friday.

Campbell from Bertrams is arriving this afternoon. He phoned up to ask if the shooting in Chelsea was going to cause any traffic problems...

My man the Notorious T.I.G is driving us about in his white van tonight, hauling things from one shop to the other. The Teegster is a clown by trade. Seems appropriate that the clowns of the book trade are to be driven about by a clown eh?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Ready...Aim...FIRE ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Here I am, ordering away, when I come to the bit where I go for the new Virago Classics hardbacks...

...when I get to the bit about them being exclusive to Waterstones. Well thanks a bunch Virago! They look great. Would love to sell them to people IF YOU'D LET US.

I would have thought it was independent shops like C & P that would be selling copies of these great books day after day after day after day, year after year after year but obviously I was wrong.

I feel like I've just been slapped.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Doin' the do

When you're in the last stages of ordering meltdown, the mind wanders and harks back to times past...

Are You Open?

I'm sitting in the shop with the shutters down, feverishly ordering books and then cancelling them again because I realise that I just ordered them a minute ago...

...dreaming of numbers again.

But ok, the shutters are down. We are clothed in steel. Still they come, knocking on the door.

"Are you open?"

Mate, what do you think?

We are CLOSED.

Otherwise we will never bloody OPEN the other shop.

Gawd. I'm stressed. Where's the coffee?

Friday, May 02, 2008

Banksy Woz Ere...Again!

* Yes I know it's a rubbish image but you would not BELIEVE how busy we have been today...

Art renegade Banksy is back on the South Bank. He's bombed Leake Street big style with the help of a few friends.

Crockatt & Powell features in the book Banksy Locations and Tours as there are the remains of a Designated Picnic Area stencil on the outside wall of the shop. Welcome back mystery man.