Portsmouth

Marie and Colin have been running The Hayling Island Bookshop for 15 years. Running an independent bookshop is a perilous business venture but hopefully the worst period is over. Book sales on the High Street are up and sales of e-books seem to have peaked.

Portsmouth Council have organised the Book Fest for seven years through their Library Services and I’m pleased to see that they’re using The Hayling Island Bookshop to sell my books after the event at a University building on Thursday evening.

I’m also pleased that the Library Service has used it’s unique reach to invite reading circles to the Fest events.

The one that’s just completed ‘This Boy’ seems to be all-female hence a bunch of glamorous women have their photo taken with me at the book signing afterwards.

My interviewer is Portsmouth University’s Dean of Creative and Cultural Industries, Trevor Keeble, a local lad from Fareham who knows all there is to know about the City that can claim Charles Dickens as one of it’s illustrious sons. Trevor has no sooner finished singing the praises of Portsmouth’s newest MP, Labour’s Stephen Morgan, than the man himself walks in.

Stephen was elected as I retired from Parliament so we’d never met before but at the lengthy book signing after a tremendous event I lost count of the number of people who told me that Stephen was the best thing to happen to Portsmouth politically for many a year.

There is hope for the Labour Party yet.

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