This is a note of appreciation for the bookshop guys here in TED at Palm Springs. Brendan, Paul and Mark are doing a fantastic job - part literary haven, part neighbourhood hang-out - they have created an engaged and welcoming space for all of us. I gather that thanks are due to Neal Sofman, the owner of the West Portal Bookshop, who has been running the bookstore at TED for a number of years, and who is at Long Beach right now.
So what's so great about it? Well, there's the stock. All the speakers (assuming that missing box arrived from Long Beach) are represented, and their subject matter supported by a broader base of books by other authors. OK, there are one or two bizarre inclusions, but where would we be without a little randomness? And in any case, that's what enabled the bookshop guys to run their private competition. But mostly there's the guys themselves. They are so engaged with being here at TED, with the talks, with the conversations and with all of us. Of course, that can't help being a good commercial move - at least if my book purchases are anything to go by.
Life isn't perfect. Last year the very wonderful people at Wired magazine paid for us all to ship shedloads of books home by FedEd, a gift I made very good use of. Sadly, this year they decided to do other things. Dear Wired Magazine, please, please bring back your amazing shipping gift next year.
This is no time to be picky. This is the time to say thank you, Brendan Sofman, thank you Mark Jobson, thank you Paul Signorelli - and have you finished reading that book I left with you yet?