This happened a couple of weeks ago in my own neck of the woods-- a 'rave' in a bookshop. Young Julius Reed, 25, of Reed Books, High Street, Aldeburgh, Suffolk (UK) hosted some pretty loud music, a deejay and some crazy dancing in his bookshop during Aldeburgh's annual carnival. A few ravers even bought some books. I have been worrying recently about the future of bookshops and how to get young people to use them and like them and Julius, book collector, party animal and pillar of the community might have found a solution. Desperate remedies. Father Mathew Fox in Berkeley managed to get younger people back to church by having raves there and surely Julius is doing the same in East Anglia for books. Bless them both.
Julius buys, sells and trades books - the shop is more Black Books than Blackwells, but I have found some great stuff there - hunting books, golf, modern firsts, leather bound books, Folio Society, children's lit, thrillers, art, books on tape and signed poetry. He even has stuff to read. No incunabula so far.
Another rave organised by Julius received the unwelcome attention of the local constabulary and was shut down - it had been advertised on the net. Julius explained from his cell that it was just a question of semantics:
"The 'rave' that was advertised on the internet was in fact a birthday party ...and an artist's event ...the listing used the word rave as a verb, not a noun: come raving at the community hall, King's Field, Aldeburgh. Not, there's a rave on King's Field...I think this is where the confusion lies - the word rave does not mean the same thing to the current generation of teenagers as it does to the police and other older members of the community.”The whole thing was reported in the local paper - The East Anglian - which resulted in good publicity for the bookshop and for the man they called the youngest bookseller in East Anglia. All hail Julius for doing something to bring books to the awareness of the ringtone generations. His achievement is hard to overstate but I'll try--singlehandedly this man has brought the second hand booktrade into the 21st century, he has breathed new life into a slumbering trade, he is the saviour of a noble business - why man he doth bestride the world like a Colossus - never in the field of human conflict has so much.....