And I thought I was a bookaholic!

Posted by Guy Pringle, 29th June 2011

Last Saturday I was a guest speaker at the first Read It, Swap It (RISI) conference in Birmingham. I knew something of this website as several of its members also review for newbooks, among other outlets.


RISI does pretty much what it says on the tin as it’s effectively a social network for women – predominantly – who are voracious readers. The volume of books they get through would be an expensive ‘habit’ were they to buy all they read from their local bookshop. However, the web has opened up a shop window for the books they wish to relinquish and to see what others have to offer in return.


So far, so good. What I was totally unprepared for were the gales of laughter amid the friendly welcomes as they gradually arrived – often dragging luggage that must contain enough for a two week holiday. But no. Although many had stayed locally the night before the cases contained a minimum of clothing in order to allow space for books, books and more books!


Obviously this was a chance to hand over goodies without the expense of posting and gradually each space at the array of tables had a pile of books to be given or just received.


At the entrance was another large table covered with an array of – mainly - fiction that had been donated. In the middle was a box for Macmillan Cancer Care leaving those who wanted a book to decide how much to donate – a nice spin on the book swap table of past readers days.


Other speakers were Ian Carpenter, author of Guardianwork and Emily Woof, author of Whole Wide Beauty. Unfortunately, RISI’s originator, Andrew surname unknown, had had to pull out of the line up late in the day, a disappointment as I was intrigued to hear how another man had come up with a medium for books that was so obviously far, far more popular with women than with men.


Thanks must go to organizer, Anne Cater – having run similar events myself I know how much work they take. Delightful, too, to meet Mandy Jenkinson (again) and Anne Williams & Nat (sorry surname forgotten) all of whom are reviewers for newbooks. Apologies to any others I’ve omitted and thanks to all for laughing where you were meant to during my presentation!


Mandy Jenkinson said...

Thanks so much for coming, Guy - and know what? All the laughs were genuine! Great presentation and quiz, thank you

Posted on Thu 30 Jun 2011 @ 12:42

Lisa Hardy said...

I just can't believe I didn't know this was happening and I only live up the road. I must pay more attention to the forum!

Posted on Thu 30 Jun 2011 @ 15:08

Anne Cater said...

Many thanks to you Guy, for coming along and entertaining us. It was a great day!

Posted on Fri 01 Jul 2011 @ 22:18

Bernie Robinson said...

Yes I agree with Mandy the laughs were genuine. Thanks for the talk and you could have made the quiz a little easier!! A great time was had by all and the fella at the venue told me that he couldn't believe the number of books that he saw being passed around by us all. Bookaholics us ... never!

Posted on Sat 02 Jul 2011 @ 06:24

Julie Finch said...

Great presentation Guy! I really enjoyed it, thank you.

Posted on Sat 02 Jul 2011 @ 12:58

trudie whitner said...

The day was pretty much as Guy described, fabulous with lots of chatting and laughing. Good job he didnt see 5 of us the day before clearing the book clearance dept in WH Smith! Ahem. I bow down to Anne's organisation of the day, everyone loved it, roll on the 2nd annual RISI day!

Posted on Sat 02 Jul 2011 @ 13:37

Lainy Swanson said...

Was wonderful meeting you, still haven't made it to the goody bag you gave me (yet) as I have lots of books from the meet and author books to review but will be checking out newbooks soon and again thank you so much for coming.


Posted on Sat 02 Jul 2011 @ 18:59

Lainy Swanson said...

I forgot to say I got Getting over Edgar after hearing you talk about it, I couldn't resist. Will definitely review it when I get to it, thanks again


Posted on Sat 02 Jul 2011 @ 19:01

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