Tuesday, 30 March 2010

World Book Day Vouchers

Great news! Parents want their children to read good Christian books. Not rocket science really, or at least it shouldn't be. But I have been surprised (perhaps I shouldn't be) at how many people have used their World Book Day £1 voucher in the shop. Actually, I'm more than surprised... I'm excited! In fact, so encouraged that it has spurred me on (with a little push from my enthusiastic admin assistant) to organise a children's activity day during the Easter school holidays. We want parents & children to come to the shop, to spend time browsing, to spend time doing fun activities, to listen to stories, to eat home-made cake (ok, not that important!) to enthuse about READING and to discover that their local Christian Bookshop is not a scary place to go to. If you're around and you fancy popping in, Friday 16th April is the day to put on the calendar. We'll give you more details later or give us a call to find out first.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Filling a gap

I think this new book from Catherine Mackenzie fills a gap for children. Aimed at 8-12yr olds it presents the evidence for Christ's death and resurrection in an investigative style. The book is quite 'interactive' - it directs the reader to look up different sections of the book at different points in the investigation, whether it be a fact file, a Bible introduction or a short quiz to illustrate a point. I suspect this style would especially be enjoyed by boys. Almost like a John Blanchard book for children, it is full of facts and easy to read. Catherine Mackenzie also makes it clear that true belief in the reality of the death and resurrection of Christ comes only through faith given by God.
I have to admit, that I was initially unsure of the book (never judge a book by its cover - you would think I should know that by now!), but having read it I think the contents are more seriously treated than the cover and illustrations give the impression of. It is different to anything else on the market for children on the Easter subject, and would certainly answer a lot of the 'whys' that children of this age are likely to ask.
Jesus Rose From the Dead - The Evidence, by Catherine Mackenzie, £4.99, published by Christian Focus Publications.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Quietly Does It

It's dropped rather quiet on the sales side in the last week, but though I should be complaining, I'm not. All hands are needed at the pump - producing enhanced book information on the new website. It seems a mammoth task just to do the Gospel Mission titles, which largely come without publisher's cover blurb. However I'm concentrating on these as they are distributed by us here in the UK. Great work is being put in by other supporters on other book ranges, which is HUGELY appreciated (I can't praise higher than capitals on a keyboard!) Lorna is getting book images in asap. It will all take a long time - we know it's a marathon not a sprint, but we also can't rest satisfied with the website until it's really functioning to give browsers the support they (you?) need. It does also give us an opportunity to review our stock and consider how best to shape up. A shocking statistic was sent to me today, that around 100 christian bookshops had closed or gone into administration in 2009 alone! These are truly unprecedented times. I feel I should be more thankful that the Christian Bookshop Ossett is even here. And as long as others do too then it will continue in its present form.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Psst! We're Live

Yes, 8 years after we built our first website for the bookshop, today we have gone live with our new one. It is now database driven, so fully searchable, as well as easier for us to maintain (vitally important). The quality of information content may be lacking for many books at this point in time, but that will continually improve as we bang it in. We decided our switchover point to the new site would be reached once it could provide at least as much for the user as the old one did. So here we are, and now watch us go. As Winston Churchill once said, 'this is not the beginning of the end; this is only the end of the beginning!'
Try it out for yourself. If you have any problems please email us. We believe it is sound, but welcome feedback.