August is always a quiet month in bookselling. The heady rush of pre-holiday sales when customers stock up on the latest hysterical/historical bodice-rippers and secret squirrel espionage titles to doze over by the pool is over now. Of course I don’t mean everyone, you are better than that, I know you bought Anthony Beevor’s worthy tome on The Second World War and are currently spilling sangria on pages devoted to the Soviet invasion of northern China.
But go on, admit it, you secretly hanker after a peek at Shades of Grey (in the interest of research naturally) don’t you? I speak as one who spent a month in the Himalayas with a friend whose idea of holiday reading was a history of the Hapsburgs (volume two naturally) so often left ostentatiously by the campfire whilst he read my trashy novels. And of course printed book summer sales are declining anyway as Kindles come into their own at holiday time. You need no longer run out of clean underwear five days up the mountain because you had to carry an extra book in case it rained.