Robin Ince wants to share his love of books

Robin Ince was in great form as he spoke about his love of books

The comedian, author and podcaster was at a loss of what to do with himself when a stadium tour with professor Brian Cox was postponed in Autumn 2021, so decided to follow his love of books by taking a tour of the country, visiting bookshops.

It might seem an odd thing to most people, but Robin said books were the reason he had slowed down on drinking and the reason Brian Cox didn’t kill him when he took him training on the moors and were the one habit he couldn’t shake.

The resultant book “Bibliomaniac” (meaning an extreme preoccupation with collecting books) tells the tale of Robin visiting more than 100 bookshops across the country and recounting the adventures he had and the people he met from Wigtown in Scotland to Penzance.

Making his third appearance at the Wolverhampton Literature Festival at Wolverhampton Art Gallery on Monday, Robin was ebullient as he spoke to host Mark Cartwright AKA Gingerbeardmark about his adventures and his love of books.

Robin was making his third appearance at the festival

Playing to a sold-out Georgian Room, he had the audience regularly laughing as he waxed lyrical on his travels, taking about testing positive for Covid while in Canada and fans tracking down his hotel to send him a range of gifts.

Quick witted and a bundle of energy, he said his love of books could be equated to buying wine, saying that if someone asked him why he’d bought a book when he already had one, he’d then ask why they’d bought a bottle of wine when they already had a cellar full of wine.

With no set theme, the conversation went all over the place, from going into a bookshop with wine and cheese and ending up with five David Icke books to there not being enough cake in his new book.

Speaking of the book, Robin said it had felt like the easiest to write, flowing out in three weeks, but he hadn’t planned on doing it until people started to say he should write one, then finding publishers taking him seriously when Richard Osman tweeted about it being a book.

Bibliomaniac tells the story of Robin’s travels up and down the country visiting bookshops

Part-travelogue, part-love letter to literature, Robin said he’d realised he’d gone too far when he saw he’d passed 120,000 words and had to pull back on some of the details, making big cuts, but still keeping the character of the book.

He also spoke of his love of the Midlands, saying that he was a regular visitor to the region for literary festivals and also to explore different bookshops and charity shops for new books, while also praising the region for its creativity and resilience.

Equally comfortable reading a book about mammals and diversity or a old-fashioned script on Black Country history, Robin Ince loves books and hopes you’ll enjoy his.

Ask him about what he recommends and he’ll have a list as long as your arm.

“Bibliomaniac” is available to buy now in a physical book or by ebook by going to atlantic-books.co.uk/book/bibliomaniac/

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