The fightback starts here – radical books are flying off shelves
SALES of radical books have shot up, propelled Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership win, according to leading London left-wing bookstore Bookmarks.
by Lamiat Sabin
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More copies of Karl Marx’s Capital were sold in the last month than during the whole of last year at the shop in Bloomsbury, manager Angela Butcher said yesterday.
A Rebel’s Guide to Marx by Mike Gonzalez has also sold out.
There is a “really strong link” between book sales and the number of protests and campaigners’ “small victories,” said Ms Butcher.
Mr Corbyn’s political success is “part of” the book boom, she added, as well as the mushrooming of radical book clubs discussing the consequences of Tory spending cuts and privatisation.
Other books that have been flying off Bookmarks’ shelves are The Joy of Tax by economist Richard Murphy and NHS for Sale by Jacky Davis, John Lister and David Wrigley.
Ms Butcher said: “Sales have taken off. There is a really strong link between public confidence and book-buying when people are involved in a fightback.
“A lot more young people are involved in traditional politics and are increasingly searching for answers in how to carry the fight forward.
“And there are people who want to do something as they
are pissed off about what is affecting them because the same issues like housing and education are coming up time and time again.
“They seek these books to give them a more coherent explanation.”
Housmans, another radical bookshop in London, has also seen more customers snapping up essential reading material, particularly the 80p Penguin edition of the Communist Manifesto.
There is a “new air of optimism which encourages people to think that politics is worth engaging in again,” co-manager Nik Gorecki told the Star.
The student movement is “more energised than it has been in the past” and this has greatly contributed to sales, even during the October to December peak time, according to Mr Gorecki.
He said: “Generally the Corbyn leadership campaign excited a lot of people.
“But also better books are being written that are much more readable and have had a huge effect on readers.
“This is in addition to more customers rejecting digital books and turning their backs on tax-avoiding and worker-exploitative companies like Amazon to buy from independent shops.”