There are always boxes of books coming in and out of the shop, but never more so than in the run-up to an event, when we take delivery of all the additional books needed on top of our every day stock. Right now we’re gearing up for Chipping Norton Literary Festival, a four-day extravaganza of books right on our doorstep. The festival holds events in seven venues across the town (fortunately all within a few minutes of each other) and we have book stands in at least four of them. At the same time.
Making sure we have the right numbers of people and the right numbers of books in the right place at the right time is a logistical challenge, but one we relish. Jaffé & Neale has been the official festival bookseller since year one (the festival is in its third year), and it has become a big part of our event calendar.
On the Friday of the festival our booksellers head off to 13 schools with festival volunteer stewards and an amazing array of children’s authors. Our Reading Room is transformed into an authors’ Green Room, and there’s always a big buzz at lunchtime as authors catch up with each other and talk about their visits.
Festival highlights this year include Kate Adie, economist Tim Harford, children’s authors Lauren Child and Holly Smale, crime writers Nicci French, Mark Billingham and Tania Carver, and many more besides. There are more than 80 authors taking part, so if you’re in the Chipping Norton area the weekend of 24-27 April, take a look at the programme.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some more boxes to shift…