Tuesday, 1 April 2008

John Banville - a further update and a brief encounter

A correspondent (Jer) has kindly written to let me know about a special limited edition of 'Ghosts' (1993) produced by Kenny's of Galway. It was limited to 50 copies - signed, numbered, slipcased quarter bound leather over marbled boards, with gilded raised bands, twin gilded leather title labels, and top edge gilt. I have updated the Banville bibliography accordingly.

I am writing this message from Chicago, where I am currently attending a conference for a few days. In years gone by I would often have spent my free time trawling the second hand bookshops to see what I could find. However, nowadays, like many collectors, I find myself trawling the internet instead. This rarely replicates the feeling that I used to get when I came across a book I had been searching for on some dusty shelves, but the internet also has its advantages, and has made it possible to find books which in the past a collector might never have encountered.

Nonetheless, I think it is important to support bookshops and get to know the owners, particularly if you hope to obtain rarer items. And you never know who you might encounter in the process. Last week I called into Goldsboro books, as I often do when in London, for a brief chat with the owners. They were chatting to a gentleman who looked familiarwhen I went in, and I was introduced to him as a fellow Irishman. It was Brian McGilloway, who I had vaguely recognised from his picture, and who had been over to sign copies of Gallows Lane. A coincidence indeed, but he went on to say that he was also familiar with my name, and it turned out that his wife had encountered me at University in Belfast. We chatted briefly about his plans for future novels and overseas publication, and hopefully he will get the success which the series richly deserves.

No comments: