… is Norwich, UK and has been for 36 years of my life. I love Norwich and you would have to drag me kicking and screaming to move away. I love its people, its shops, its scenery, its history and its arts scene. But most of all I love it because its where my family and friends are.
I do however love to travel and have been fortunate to have a career in bookselling that has taken me to the USA, Canada, Ireland & most of Europe and even the Cayman Islands! My work travel philosophy is to make it count. This usually takes the form of finding a hill to climb up or a friend to visit in most locations I am lucky enough to be sent to. Working away from your family for days on end has to be worth it and staring at a hotel room wall doesn’t cut it.
In August 2019 my wife and I, with the help of our family and friends, created Bookbugs and Dragon Tales on Timberhill in Norwich. A glorious piece of our hearts in a huge 1850sq ft space for Books, Coffee, Cake, Play, Theatre, Craft, Art and general community hub. Using my wife’s 17 years in Performing Arts teaching and my own bookselling experience we believe we have created something special for Norwich and our customers seem to agree.
I want to use any or all of this experience to provide a service to the bookselling world. Deciding that, whilst I got an enormous amount of satisfaction from my previous role, it was time to move on into the big wide world. I have been fortunate that, due to my relatively high profile and solid reputation in the Indie Book shop world, Above the Treeline has given me the opportunity to work for them 4 days of my week from an office in our shop. Something I am thrilled about as everything they do reflects a passion for books and particularly book people. I am looking forward to delving deeper into their services and expand on the training I was already providing as part of my previous role.
My second role, taking up 1 day a week, is as general IT advisor and support to all Bookseller association members that need it. Obviously I can only do so much in the time given so mostly I will attempt to point you in the right direction. However I’ll also be trying to consider broad solutions where it might benefit the larger community. This is no less exciting (to me) and I feel very honoured to have been asked.
I see lots of opportunities for ways I can contribute further in the Book Industry and have tried to list a few in Services, but there will be other things. More than anything it has always disturbed me how often I see book shops being taken advantage of when they have had to call in paid technical services and I want to be there to advise and facilitate book shops taking more control over this aspect of their business.