Our regular reader will have noticed that there haven’t been many posts of late. This is because life has intervened in work a little, as I suppose it is wont to do as you get older.
My brother-in-law has been diagnosed with cancer, at the age of 45, and we’ve spent a lot of time visiting him and my sister, having my niece and nephew to stay, and just thinking and talking about him.
Having been ill for some time, he started chemotherapy the day after he was made a QC in the recent bar elevations.
We had a great day down at the RCJ watching him and all the other new silks bowing and scraping to the Lord Chief Justice; in days gone by, matters would then have disintegrated into a very messy celebration, but he was far too poorly for any of that.
He’s showing early signs of responding to the chemo, but he has embarked on a long and uncertain road. I hadn’t been aware of just how dangerous the treatment is in itself. I knew it made your hair fall out, and caused nausea; I didn’t realise (or at least hadn’t thought much about the obvious fact) that it damages your immune system to the point where you can die from a simple infection.
It all does make you think a bit. It also puts books, publishing and most of the rest of life into some perspective.
Booksellers Association c.e.o. Tim Godfray (writes) in an exclusive column for today’s London Book Fair Bookseller Daily: ‘Amazon has achieved its phenomenal growth and influence because consumers like what it does, but, in my view, if they continue to threaten large parts of the book trade, this will not only be bad for the industry, but also, in the long run, for the consumer too.’
Amazon owns 18 separate companies that cover book printing and publishing, marketplaces, audio and digital reading, Godfray writes. ‘So the writer goes straight to Amazon. Amazon publishes the author’s work and can then promote the book to targeted users . . . Scary. With such a set-up, they really do have the ability to destroy the book trade as we know it.’