ISSY SHANNON

Anything on books always catches my eye so I was intrigued by Miles
Kington’s revelation (The Independent 16 February) that “Corsham in old
photographs once topped the bestsellers list in the Bath Chronicle”. “I
got the shock of my life,” admits Kington, amazed this unassuming title
had apparently beaten the likes of John Le Carré and J K Rowling to the
top spot.

“I could not for the life of me see why a book of old photographs of the place would be a national bestseller,”

he adds. Then the penny dropped: the list was based on returns from the bookshop in Corsham.

Miles
Kington is always worth five minutes with a cup of coffee, half an ear
cocked to Radio 4 (the pleasures of retirement), but this article was a
gem, reminding me that nuggets from the local press are priceless.

There’s
no denying the quality press does a good job in keeping we bibliophiles
up to speed with the latest publications and book news of international
import, but I am tormented by the thought of all those wonderful books,
topping bestseller lists in local press from John O’Groats to Lands
End, which will forever remain beyond my ken.

Having mentioned
Radio 4 in passing, I must express my delight that Julian Richards is
back with Mapping The Town. Oh, and what a pleasure the daily Book of
the Week is – and who thinks up those clever quarter-of-anhour segments
between 3.30pm and 4.00pm?

For my money, You and Yours is the
best journalism of its kind in the whole media and I never go out
before 11 in the morning. What and miss Woman’s Hour?

I pray some
interfering busybody at the BBC will not take it into their heads to
tinker with the format that, to my mind, is nigh on perfect.When they
can get it so right with radio, why is BBC TV so dire? Oops,
complaining old git mode slipping in there!

Issy Shannon is publisher and editor of the quarterly magazine Milltown Memories

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