Gathan Beaga


A big news story over the ditch in Australia at the moment is an incredibly arrogant attempt by leading bookseller Angus & Robertson Whitcoulls (ARW) to put the screws on smaller publishers by demanding they pay extra money to have their books stocked. Huh?

That this is wrong on so many levels (and there’s a great deconstruction here) just makes me want to forgo the pleasure (or otherwise) of visiting Whitcoulls ever again. This has to be the dark side of those Private Equity “gut it and cut out” types: in this case Pacific Equity Partners, the owners of ARW.

Of course, it doesn’t get any better. Pacific Equity Partners are currently competing with Dymocks to get hold of Borders’ Australasian operations; with this, it is said, they’ll be able to float the lot. End-game: Ka-Ching for P.E.P.! And maybe more clowns like the people running ARW at loose about the place.

I really should stick to my local bookshops, eh.