Aleph now out in paperback!

Aleph and The Alchemist joint No 7 (in non fiction chart)

Aleph and The Alchemist joint No 7 (in non fiction chart)

Wonderful display of Paulo Coelho books in window of Libreria Palazzo Roberti

Wonderful display of Paulo Coelho books in window of Libreria Palazzo Roberti

HarperCollins have produced a rather tacky video to promote that Aleph is now available in paperback.

This appalling New-Age-light video from HarperCollins merely serves to reinforce the worse prejudices from critics that Paulo Coelho is a pedlar of psycho-babble and pseudo-crap.

In many ways it is much worse than the critics. At least with the vicious personal attacks by critics masquerading as book reviews, the intelligent reader can see there is something wrong, wrong that is with the critic not the books or author.

Had I never read Paulo Coelho, this awful video would have put me off Paulo Coelho for life, or at the very least it would have taken a lot of persuading for me to have picked up and read one of his books.

I learnt Aleph was out in paperback on passing through an airport and finding it on display on a book stand. It was joint No 7 with The Alchemist. Odd though, I thought, in the non-fiction chart.

The Alchemist has a new cover. This I discovered on meeting and chatting with a man who like me was in transit between terminal buildings and waiting for the shuttle. Strangers passing by in brief encounters.

Reading the signs

Was Aleph on display in Waterstone’s?

Friday of last week, I checked Waterstone’s in Guildford. No, Aleph was not on display. It was not on display in the window, not on display in-store. At least it was on display on the shelves after I passed through.

Same story, Waterstone’s in Lincoln, Tuesday of this week. No Aleph on display.

What is wrong with Waterstone’s?

Last year when Aleph came out in hardback, it was not on display in Waterstone’s

Paulo Coelho in Waterstone’s and the author the publisher forgot

If nothing else an opportunity for independent bookshops. But will they grasp the opportunity? On past track record, the sad reality is no, which is one reason they are all going out of business.

What’s gone wrong with our bookshops?

Last year Aleph was released across Europe. It shot straight to No 1 in all countries apart from UK.

Waterstone’s is a very depressing place to visit. A marked contrast to the four bookshops I found happily coexisting in Bassano del Grappa.

Bookshops in Bassano del Grappa

One, Libreria Palazzo Roberti, located in a former palace that was once owned by the Comte Roberti where Napoleon slept the night, was a delight to visit. As one wandered around one could see the love of books. Wonderful enticing book displays.

I mentioned Paulo Coelho was in Bassano del Grappa. When I passed by a couple of days later, Libreria Plazzo Roberti had a wonderful display of Paulo Coelho books in one of their windows. Somehow I cannot imagine that happening with Waterstone’s.

Guildford has an annual book festival which takes place mid-October. Pass by Waterstone’s and you would not know, as no mention of the Guildford Book Festival. Sour grapes because they are not the official festival bookseller.

But please do not let the tacky HarperCollins video put you off reading Aleph. It is excellent and highly recommended.

Aleph is available in paperback the UK now, in the US in June.

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