Friday, 25 May 2007

Food for thought...

We received the June 'Evangelical Times' this week. An interesting letter was printed, written by Gordon Hoppe owner of the Christian Bookshop in Pratt's Bottom Orpington. I think it is worth quoting in full:

Dear Sir,
Everyone enjoys a bargain but the growing practice of discounts being offered by authors and publishers on the sale of books at meetings, conferences and exhibitions is damaging bookshops.
While I applaud the selling of good Christian books on every occasion possible, it is not unusual to find books being offered at prices below those at which a bookshop can buy them. This can only add to the struggles of those seeking to maintain a presence and witness in the streets and shopping centres of our towns.

Bookshops provide a service to the churchgoing public by enabling them to examine, compare and purchase books. They will order books for customers and advise on choice. They normally give a small discount to churches, schools and charities and will provide bookstalls and 'sale or return' books for special occasions. They seek to assist the churches' witness in a given neighbourhood.
But they usually have rent, rates and staff to pay and cannot compete with these unnecessary discounts. May I suggest that authors and publishers cease this discounting and that the book-buying public make an effort to pay the right price for books they value?
I do, of course, have a vested interest in writing this letter. But my main concern is to ensure that the 600 or so Christian bookshops can survive - to continue to provide a service to writers, publishers and readers alike, and maintain a witness in a needy world.
Gordon Hoppe

Food for thought?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

My Crazy Day

Life at the shop gets a little crazy at times. The building site next door just adds to the chaos (and dust). For those that don't know I'm normally the 'front man' in the shop, I deal with the day-to-day work while Jeremy hides away upstairs doing lots of background work. Actually he hides up there to get away from the madness downstairs - today he even refused to come down for a coffee! This morning I had some of my very willing helpers in which is great when jobs are piling up to mountainous levels. The only thing is that most of the helpers I call on bring with them a few smaller helpers. This morning we had 6 children under the age of 4 running around - it was noisy! (apologies to anyone who rang up this morning). The children just love it, they make the most of the tiny amount of space they have to play in outside and they seem to spend all their time shouting - at each other, at the builders and just about anyone else who happens to be passing. Why do children only have one volume? You may think that in that environment we don't get any work done, but you underestimate the multi-tasking capabilities of 3 energetic mothers!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Just moaning!

The customer is always right - enough said. But because he is a customer does he therefore have the right to take liberties not accepted as polite in normal social circumstances? Some people seem to think that their money spent in the Shop secures a platform for their sermons / diatribes / non-book related questionings, etc. So my ear gets bent, and I have to smile - or do I? It's good for humility anyway. I end today trying not to feel disgruntled, but confessing to not being exactly gruntled either! Perhaps the 'Resources For Changing Lives' series of booklets we have in a splendid display unit could offer something. Although somewhat 'American' (published by P&R) they certainly touch on a range of subjects in small attractive booklets for only £1.75 each. I might need a dose of quite a number of them as the day goes by: Stress, ADD, Anger...

Wednesday, 16 May 2007


I have just added a few more reviews to our reviews page. Did you know we have a reviews page on our website?! Anyway, we are blessed with a small band of willing typists who work hard typing up reviews from a range of magazines purely to inform your choice. If you spot a book you want to know more about and there isn't a review of it, ring us and we may have a review available that hasn't yet been uploaded to the site. Failing that, buy the book and write a review for us!
p.s. if you're interested in the family I have also added an up-to-date picture of the boys to the noticeboard.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Definitely worth having

The US based Particular Baptist Press are engaged in producing some quality commentaries on New Testament books. Called The Newport Commentary Series, they are well bound hardbacks with a good clear typeset, although the dustjacket lets them down in being prone to fading in the sun, as we have proved to our cost in displaying them in the Shop window. But most important of all they have substance. This can be judged by the authors - John Gill on the Gospel of John and Romans, James A Haldane on Galatians and Hebrews, and Samuel Eyles Pierce on 1 John. Yes, some authors are worth reprinting in a contemporary format. I found the introduction to Gill on John to be excellent. The series editor Terry Wolever contends against the notion that Baptists of the 18th/19th century needed to be freed from the shackles of hypercalvinism before they could preach the gospel widely. He points out that the General Missionary Convention in America - the counterparts of the Baptist Missionary Society in England - paid great attention to publication work in conjunction with their missionary endeavour. Thus they sponsored the first American printing of Gill's famous 'Exposition of the Old and New Testaments' (see our website for details of the 9 vol set), derided by some as anti-evangelistic! So buy the book, even if it's just for the introduction.

Thursday, 10 May 2007


Lots of new bargains to be found on our updated special offers page

Whatever your budget I'm sure you will find something to fit your purse, whether you want books for £1.50, £3.50 or £5.00. These are all one-offs, first come, first served.

Our bargain of the week...

A Scottish Christian Heritage by Iain Murray,
was £16, now £5 !!!


Tuesday, 1 May 2007

It's Gone!

The old chapel is no more. (Compare post on 14th April). You can now see the White House - no Oval Office here though, just a jumble of rooms performing the functions of Shop administration area, warehouse, nursery & playroom amongst others. We simply call it the Cottage. It is interconnected with the Bookshop itself. Now you can picture the place where your phone call/email/letter is welcomed!