Author Mark Forsyth above is to write a specially commissioned essay on why Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy would never have met online for Independent Booksellers Week (IBW).
The bestselling author of The Etymologicon, The Horologicon and The Elements of Eloquence (Icon Books) is writing the essay as part of the IBW Booksellers Collectible range of books with exclusive content for indies to sell during the week-long event (28th June–5th July).
The pamphlet is called The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted. It will explore important questions such as why Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy would never have met online, as well as the pleasure of leafing through a dictionary and “why only a bookshop can give you what you never knew you were looking for”.
Icon Books will also be releasing the paperback of Forsyth’s The Elements of Eloquence early and exclusively for independent booksellers taking part in IBW. The book gets a general paperback release in September. Forsyth will also be on tour, taking part in events every night of the week during IBW.
Forsyth said: “To be asked to write the pamphlet for Independent Booksellers Week is both a pleasure and an honour—two things that rarely coincide. I’ve spent so long snuffling around in bookshops, that it’s wonderful to be able to look back at my life and call it research. I firmly believe that the bookshop is alive and well with a long life ahead of it, and I intend to explain my reasoning.”
Andrew Furlow, sales and marketing director at Icon Books, said the company supported IBW as an “independently owned and independent-minded” company itself.
“Anything that publishers can do to shout from the hilltops about the value independent bookshops bring to readers and writers is well worth all of the hard work,” he said.
Meryl Halls, head of membership services for the Booksellers Association which organises IBW, said feedback from booksellers and the public towards the Collectibles had been positive. More IBW Collectibles from other publishers are to come.