Guest Post by Phil Groom: A new blog of interest
Ever wondered what goes on in those seedy little back street shops? You know the places, places no self-respecting Christian would be seen dead in: strange music playing, shifty-eyed staff, the type who can never bring themselves to look you in the eye; the places where church leaders stop outside, close their eyes and pray fervently for God to close the place down; furtive, under-the-counter sales of books in brown paper bags - books like Steve Chalke's Lost Message of Jesus...
Yes, you've got it: we're talking Christian Bookshops. Some of them in the UK, where I work, have attracted a lot of bad press over the last year or so with the ongoing SPCK/SSG debacle and the Brewer brothers apparently destroying the chain they were supposed to be rescuing... but that's another story. And some of them are... well, let's be kind: a bit sad. The good news is those have only ever been a very small part of the story, and this month sees the launch of the Christian Bookshops Blog to help set the record straight:
UKCBD? It's the UK Christian Bookshops Directory, http://www.christianbookshops.org.uk/ (or ukcbd.info if you prefer a shorter URL) - exactly what it says on the can, an online guide to the UK's Christian Bookshops, complete with index of Christian Cafes, Secondhand Stockists and dedicated News and Reviews sections, including a couple of reviews from none other than the Lord of Chrisendom himself: thanks Chris!
The blog takes the site to the next level, allowing you to comment on and discuss the reviews as well as what's happening in the wider world of Christian bookshops and bookselling. Alongside news, reviews and musings, there's a What's On section and a Swap Shop, where booksellers can post details of surplus stock which other Christian booksellers may be interested in, along with requests for those hard to find items you may be looking for...
So what are you waiting for? Don't just watch this space: be part of it!
Bookshop manager at the London School of Theology
Labels: Guest Post