CORONAVIRUS: NOTTINGHAM'S EXLIBRIS HAS POSTPONED ITS MEGABOOKSALE AND WILL NOT BE ATTENDING OTHER EVENTS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Please see Upcoming FMB book sales page. Many other UK FMB groups will be following their example.



MASKED BOOKSELLERS ALSO WRITE BOOKS!

Many of you will have heard tales - some exaggerated, some not - of ExLibris's controversial Director of Operational Planning, Chris Cook Cann. Now you can find out how she comes to be who she is because she's published her memoirs. From her origins in the rubble of post-war Germany to today's "interesting times", it relates events that led her into Masked Bookselling via espionage, midnight feasts, bolt cutters and hamsters. On the way, she tells of the the ghastly things that can happen if you forget that pubic hair exists, and the early days of Nottingham's radical bookshop, Mushroom, which she started with partner Keith.

Her book grew from a couple of pages she wrote in the visitors' book of the Traenenpalast on a visit to Berlin in the summer of 2019. But you'll get no spoilers here, so if you want to know why she felt moved to write so much in a visitors' book where the entries are mostly just "very interesting" or "very moving", you'll find out in these memoirs.

Originally, Chris had the idea that her writings would just be in a folder somewhere, for the grand-children to read one day, but was persuaded to publish it as a proper book. Several friends were invited to proof read but said they were too engrossed in the story to pay attention to such mundain things as commas and full-stops.

It's available from the Sparrow's Nest, Five Leaves Bookshop, Green Emporium or ExLibris Main Depot (only a bookshop for eight days of the year, so you'll likely have to ring the doorbells). You can order it by post for 9 (includes postage), paying by that new-fangled PayPal if you email boraxwoman-saithwaite(at)yahoo.com. Or ask for it at your local library.

ISBN 978-1-91649-041-3




Welcome to the official web site of the The Federation of Masked Booksellers. We don't expect you've heard of us for reasons which you'll find on our About FMB page. Basically, the FMB is an association of groups that raise money for charity by selling unwanted books. People give us books or we try to be around charity shops when they are throwing out books they don't think they can sell and libraries when they are throwing out books they don't think people want to read. These books would probably end up in landfill - in which case FMB is doing its bit to combat global warming - or they could be pulped to be turned into yet another political or show bizz biography - or even.... copies of the daily mail!

MANIFESTO

The Federation of Masked Booksellers is a free exchange for ideas and information useful to Masked Bookseller groups with the following aims:

- and we wear masks while we're doing it. Eccentric, but why?? To find out, see About FMB. Masked Booksellers are also passionate about books and enjoy finding innovative ways of displaying their stock. The shambolic fiasco in the photo on the left (seen in the Portobello Road) was clearly not perpetrated by a member of an FMB group.





Masked Booksellers to the rescue

Disposing of an unwanted telly at the local waste disposal site, two off-duty Masked Booksellers pull up behind a car with an open tailgate. They can see some books in the car:

(Horrified) "Is he going to throw those books in the skip?"

"STOP HIM!"

The Masked Booksellers jump out of their car, approach the elderly man, who is just on the point of skipping some books and ask if they could have them instead. It's the classic Josiah Saithwaite moment that every Masked Bookseller hopes one day will happen to them! They explain briefly that they sell books for charity and the man says he used to take books to a charity shop until he got done for parking and the charity shop people refused to tell the traffic warden that he was unloading. He had already thrown some books in the skip but at least ExLibris get the rest (an eclectic mix, some in good condition, including a Japanese dictionary).

Book rescue. It's what we do. It's who we are. A Masked Bookseller must be ready to intervene at all times. And to find out who Josiah Saithwaite was, click About FMB.



Finally below left is a candid shot of "bookseller" Quamir Hashim in action. For heaven's sake, Quamir, pull yourself together man!





'EALTH AND SAFETY CORNER

Whenever someone gives a donation of books in plastic boxes and doesn't want the boxes back, we tend to be gleeful. However... plastic boxes becomes brittle with time; they are not really designed to withstand a heavy load of books, so they can sudenly split or the bit you're holding can break off, leaving dangerously sharp edges (see above) and/or the box with its contents on your foot.

It is therefore recommended by FMB that work gloves should be worn when handling plastic boxes. Cracked or broken boxes should be discarded.

Of course, after Dexit, Charity Books of Dewsbury will be free to take no notice whatsoever of FMB recommendations and can slash their hands to ribbons on broken plastic boxes as much as they like.



Here at FMB central, we're getting complaints from many member groups that book donations are being left outside FMB premises IN THE RAIN!! I know, hard to believe there are people around who could do that, and some of what we've been hearing is too painful to relate. All FMB groups are thankful for donations of books but:

PLEASE DON'T LEAVE BOOK DONATIONS OUTSIDE IN THE RAIN.

WE CAN'T SELL BOOKS DAMAGED BY WATER - THEY JUST HAVE TO BE CONSIGNED TO THE RECYCLING BIN.