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Nicholas Royle

Shadow Lines

Shadow Lines


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‘Shadow Lines very much celebrates the world of books’ —Telegraph

Nicholas Royle’s love of second-hand books and the ‘inclusions’ he finds inside them, their presence betrayed by ‘shadow lines’, is about making connections. Someone has scribbled a number in a book? He’ll text or call. An old address? He’ll return the book to where it used to live. Follow him as he walks between bookshops, reading as he goes, on the hunt for treasure, for ways to make us feel closer – to the books on our shelves, to each other and to our own lives.

Share in Royle’s enthusiasm for the Rev W Awdry’s Railway Series, Penguin Modern Stories and Paul Auster’s cult classic, The New York Trilogy, as well as books in art and film.

If you love books, bookshops and browsing, this is your perfect all-year gift – head to your happy place with a copy of Shadow Lines today! (Note: ‘inclusions’ not supplied.)

Reviews of this Book

‘★★★★ If you're a book sort of person, you're going to enjoy this book, which is a book about books, by a book sort of person, and for book sort of people. Nicholas Royle is fast becoming the bibliophile's bibliophile.’ —Ian Sansom, The Telegraph

‘Royle invests more passion into his subject than EL James did in whips, and it’s all incredibly infectious. He leavens any perceived pedantry with droll self-deprecation and, personally, I haven’t laughed harder with a book for a long time.’ —Nick Duerden, Observer

‘This is a book about books and bookshops that will bring joy to every reader and collector, but it is also about the strangeness and sublimity of individuals, and our tender contacts with each other.’ —Mark Valentine, Wormwoodiana

Shadow Lines is all about the connections between humans and language and books and covers and art and walking and reading and collecting; the joy of tracking down titles and of lucky finds and random inclusions. It appears to be all about Nicholas Royle but actually it is about all of us who read.’ —Rupert Loydell, International Times

Praise for Previous Work

‘What keeps this assortment of reflections and reminiscences hanging together is Royle’s delightful accounts of his trips to charity and secondhand bookshops across the UK: Goldmark Books in Uppingham; George Kelsall Booksellers in Littleborough; Southend; Coventry; Wigtown in Scotland. Over the years, Royle has been everywhere. White Spines is a sort of Bill Bryson for book lovers, wry, cosy and full of amusing asides and lovely cameos.’ —Ian Sansom, The Spectator

‘This summer’s must-read for all book lovers.’ —The Irish Times

‘It is Royle’s knowledge and ability to write with enthusiasm that draws the reader in. An enjoyable window into the life of an unapologetic collector. A call to appreciate books for more than their words.’ —Jackie Law, neverimitate

‘Light, breezy, and impossible to put down. It’s a beautifully made book, replicating the classic Picador style (a brave move from Salt!). All of which makes it a book that’s well worth collecting.’ —Joe Darlington, Manchester Review of Books

‘This book is many things: a travelogue, a guide book, a history of a significant imprint, and a slender autobiography … The covers of his Knut Hamsun’s lead into reflections on art and publishing. He is as happy explaining how key figures, such as Sonny Mehta and Peter Straus worked with the Picador imprint, as finding a new bookshop or a book that he didn’t know was a white spine … As bookselling has become overshadowed by Waterstones, Nick reminds us that second hand bookshops are an important part of our literary culture and that an affordable library is not out of the reach of anyone. The last couple of pages include a defence of fiction that is as surprising as it is profound, worth the price of the book alone.’ —Richard Clegg, Bookmunch

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