The blow, when it came, was not unexpected, but still …

“Oh no, what will I do with myself in August!”, I cried, when news came through of the Covid-19 cancellation of the 2020 Edinburgh International Book Festival.

“Sit down and catch up with all the books you’ve bought previously”, muttered Rossetti non too graciously.

Well, the sentiment may have been less than sympathetic, but, as an idea it’s not a bad one. I have spent lots of time in Charlotte Square …

Rossetti – spluttering – “Don’t you means lots of money?”

Me – “If you’d just stop interrupting … “

For those new to the blog, I need to explain that the exhilarating combination of Edinburgh in August, international authors from all over the world, stimulating talks and the bookshops – oh my, the popup bookshops which, as of last year spilled out of the festival grounds and onto George Street – have not only been the highlight of the last 17 Scottish summers but have also kept my hunger for shiny new books sated. (And my bank manager in a semi-permanent state of apoplectic meltdown!). The influence of the Edinburgh International Book Festival on my reading and TBR cannot be underestimated.

Yes, a catch-up is in order, and so I allocated 10 slots to my 20 Books of Summer reading plan. I then sat down and made a TBR list of books I have a) bought at the festival or b) books bought later (because I just can’t lug all those books back to my 40 mile distant home) and c) books by authors whose work I’ve followed since seeing them at Edinburgh. Without looking at the piles stacked all over the house, I had a list of 67 within a matter of minutes!

Then I wondered what all these books would look like when gathered together …

It was a mad idea because I have no spare shelf space to put them on. Well, I solved that problem by clearing the coffee table in the library, and then I set to work.

Rules of the engagement, I must have a Charlotte Square associated memory for each author or book on the table, AND there can only be one book per author. That second rule, which I have broken only once (for an absolute Scottish legend btw), was sure to reduce the number of books significantly ….

I stopped when the table was in danger of collapse and then I counted … 101!

#edbookfest 101

Perhaps Rossetti has a point, she says between gritted teeth. But, as we now know, there will be a 2020 digital #edbookfest with 100 events during August. Programme to be revealed at the end of July. Plenty of scope for further TBR additions. Ha! She who laughs last, laughs longest! 😉

In the meantime I will read a selection from my #edbookfest smorgasbord, in a valiant/obliging/perfunctory (you choose the adjective) attempt to reduce Rosetti’s mutterings.