img_2489We found this floating second-hand bookshop tied up at Granary Square just north of King’s Cross last week — the railway tracks travel under the canal just aft of the barge. In this photo it looks too rural to be in the middle of London, but there it is, just below the Lighterman, a new gastro-pub overlooking the Regent’s Canal (and a pretty good one too) between The Guardian and the new Google buildings.

I paid £3 for a Penguin paperback of The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham. It is a special edition made for The Times, and has “Not for resale” printed on the cover. On the copyright page it carries the annotation “Except in the United States of America, this book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.” I suppose this just means I am not allowed to send it to a library rebinder for conversion into a hardback — though I guess, being in the USA now, I could actually, and in the UK I could as long as I didn’t attempt to lend it to a friend. Seems like a strange “condition”, but maybe it’s just boiler-plate (if badly expressed) which they put on their special editions for companies who are going to give the books away. Not sure why re-sale is hyphenated while resold is one word — no doubt different departments deal with typesetting for the cover and the interiors.

Word on the Water seems to have had a rather chequered career since its foundation in 2011. Their blog, which now seems to be defunct, tells of trouble with Penguin over their early publicity. They now seem to be active on Facebook and Twitter. The blog suggests that they originally moved back and forth on the canal, but the Granary Square location seems to be a permanent berth since last summer, as reported in The Evening Standard.

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