Raman is looking for book-gossip from any quarter. Yes, the man himself having decided that someone has to fight the corner for books since the newspapers don't seem to be doing a great job, and is determined to begin his own litmag. At present he's putting out a fortnightly free one page newsletter which you can pick up from the counter. (He's had his online version going for some time now.) He plans to extend it and grow it slowly into something bigger.
And he need folks to write for it. Bits of book news, ear to the ground gossip, the odd review of something read and loved.
Because no-one's doing it, right?
I tell him that I have my blog and I write about books and the local litscene (as best I can) and that I even write about him from time to time. At the mention of the word blog he screws his face up, sour lemon style.
Blogging, you see is a monumental waste of time. It's a way of messing around and not getting any "real" writing done.
And he's never read mine, (or won't admit to it!) even though I've given him the address many times. It's too unimportant a venture to even contemplate.
(I think blogging is actually a great deal better than print media! Immediate and interactive.)
But he's so right about their being so little media coverage about books and writers. This is something I'm continually frustrated about. The problem is that page space is limited and editors do not really have a budget to purchase the latest books for review. (I often buy my own.)
Well, I applaud Raman's efforts and his vision. If he cares enough to get something off the ground, I'll support him.
But: "I can't afford to pay you anything," he says "because I'm not making anything out of this."
Now me, I either write for love (my blog, my stories) or for money, so this puts me in a bit of a dilemma. Best solution - I'll e-mail him bits and pieces that I've blogged and let him use them as he will, provided that he sticks my name and URL on them.
Raman's shop had had something of a make-over: he's partitioned off a room at the back to house all those wonderful antiquarian books and serve as a meeting room/ area for readings. And he looks to be in the process of getting rid of a whole lot of clutter, at last. (Teach him something about feng-shui someone!)
Of course I only popped in for a chat but could not walk out bookless. Ended up with a volume of poems by Charles Bukowski which I will tell you about another day.