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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Book business

Wednesday, February 9th., Royal York Hotel, Brighton.

On Monday morning, in the bedroom and in the drawing-room I finished the first part of "Clayhanger", 42,000 words instead of 40,000. I wrote 2,000 words and was nearly going mad at lunchtime, but Webster and Marguerite humoured me.

This morning I walked out and ordered a pair of spectacles, and began to get my ideas in order for the second part of "Clayhanger" and did get them in order, rather well. On Monday I received a belated request from the Manchester Guardian to do a special telegraphic criticism of "Chantecler" for them. Of course I was here instead of in France, and it was too late. Nevertheless, even had everything been favourable, I doubt if I should have faced the unusualness and the worry of the task.
For more on Chantecler see 'Busy in Brighton'

Hubert Bland having based his articles in the Sunday Chronicle of 30 Jan. on the statement that "The Glimpse" and other books were banned by the Libraries, I wrote to Smith's, Mudies, and The Times B.C. to ask if this was so, and if so why? They all replied that it was absolutely untrue. Smith's said they had 500 copies of "The Glimpse" in circulation at the moment.

In 1842, Charles Edward Mudie (1818–90) started to lend books from his stationery shop in Southampton Row, London, and by the end of the century he would be referred to as ‘the King of the librarians’ and credited with revolutionising book reading across the UK. At Mudie’s Select Library, a subscriber could borrow an unlimited number of books (one at a time) for one guinea a year, and a subscriber could have his order sent to his door within a 20-mile radius of London. Branches soon opened in Birmingham and Manchester. Between 1853 and 1862, 960,000 books were added to the library, and in 1864 Mudie’s Select Library was converted into a limited company. By the end of the century Mudie’s Select Library consisted of an estimated 7.5 million books. When Mudie rejected a proposal from William Henry Smith to open libraries at its railway bookstalls in 1858, Smith had no choice but to start his own lending service which lasted until 1961. At W.H. Smith’s, Class B books could be borrowed for 2d for five days and Class A books cost 1d a day. Books could be borrowed from a railway bookstall before getting onto the train and then exchanged at the final destination. In 1898 Jessie Boot also opened their Boot’s Booklovers’ Library which charged borrowers 2d per book, and by 1938 they had one million subscribers who were borrowing 35 million books a year. Books were strategically positioned in stores to encourage subscribers to purchase other Boot’s products. This initiative lasted until 1966.

Additionally for February 9th., see 'Gathering more material'

We had to wait 5 minutes in Piccadilly for a 19 or 22 bus. (I took a chill here which much impaired my night's rest.) While waiting a very little oldish, spinsterish, thin misshapen, stooping woman came slowly along, carrying two large neat parcels, strapped together, with a string handle. She was neatly dressed, polished shoes, but misshapen and queer - probably about 45. Then in the bus we saw a respectable man kiss a little girl. She got out and left him.
So that we were rewarded for our bus ride.

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