In a Bookshop

Peter Campbell

The new titles on the table in the bookshop, a cast of hundreds, gather for a curtain call. Like the chorus girl who breaks rhythm on the night a talent scout is in the audience, they will try any trick to catch your eye. Series and reprints – Everyman, Penguin Classics, Oxford Reference, Persephone, Faber Poetry, the books of any established author, series of textbooks and so on – do their high kicks in matching costume. But there are now too many publishers for any of them to trust to a brand image to sell new ‘trade’ books – the titles that get reviewed in the press and are entered for prizes.

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