A post from Shady Characters

A baby and a pause (and a vote?) for Shady Characters

I am very happy to announce that my wife Leigh and I have just had a baby boy and, as such, I’ll be taking a break from Shady Characters for a while. Think of it as a pilcrow — the end of one paragraph and the start of another!

In the meantime, I thought I’d point you in the direction of an article in the Deseret News in which Chandra Johnson asks rhetorically: “What do Americans lose if bookstores disappear? More than you think”. I chatted to Chandra about the history of the physical book and how it relates to bookshops — after libraries, our other temples to the book. It was a great opportunity to go beyond the historical content of The Book and, I’m not ashamed to say, Chandra gave me some great ideas to pick up on in my subsequent interview with Heleo’s Mandy Godwin. Have a read of both, or either, and feel free to leave a comment below — is the physical bookshop doomed? What lies in its future?*

Secondly, if you happen to be a member of Goodreads, or you wouldn’t mind becoming one, might I interest you in voting for The Book in the History & Biography category of Goodreads’ Choice Awards 2016? The write-in box for other titles appears at the bottom of the page for Goodreads members only.

See you all in the new year!

In fact, if you have any suggestions for articles or interesting punctuational links to share, please feel free to email me via the Contact page or leave a comment below
And, er, if you’d like something to read in the interim, why not buy a copy or two of a certain very bookish book

8 comments on “A baby and a pause (and a vote?) for Shady Characters

  1. Comment posted by Korhomme on

    Congratulations to you both!

  2. Comment posted by Susan Schoch on

    All good wishes for you and your family. Enjoy that baby!

  3. Comment posted by Jeremy W on

    Congratulations! I became a first-time father to twins in June, and still feel that life got exponentially better. I hope you feel the same.

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      I do! I (we) are still very much awed by the whole thing.

  4. Comment posted by Ralph on


    Think of it as a pil­crow

    As long as it’s not a full stop. :-) (Hopefully that pilcrow won’t change to an interrobang once he hits his teens. :p )

    1. Comment posted by Keith Houston on

      Not at all! In fact, I have a couple of articles in the pipeline for publication elsewhere that should be appearing soon.

      I think the interrobang is coming whether we like it or not!

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