As anyone who has seen the film Sliding Doors will know, chance is a funny old thing. If Gwyneth had made it through the closing doors of that tube train, how dramatically different might her life have turned out?

And if I hadn’t wasted three pounds renting the DVD at Blockbuster a couple of years ago, how much might my dislike of Gwyneth Paltrow be lessened? Might I even be able to tolerate listening to Chris Martin singing without wanting to throw the pair of them under a train?

I’ll never know.

One thing’s for sure though – if I’d have answered differently to the question “shall we have another bottle of wine?” while I was out for dinner on Friday evening, my weekend would have been very different.

First off, I’d have been able to go home early and finish off the due-on-Monday-morning contract amendments I had promised myself I’d do before bed. I certainly wouldn’t have ended the ‘evening’ with White Russians at 6am, which means I wouldn’t have pretty much buggered up Saturday morning and afternoon. Which means I would have had time to amend the contract before heading out again on Saturday evening.

All of which would have meant that I wouldn’t currently be sitting in the office, my liver turned to Silly Putty ™, finally tweaking contract clauses and wondering what on earth happened to my weekend.

BUT – and here’s the important thing – had I made a different decision apropos that Friday evening wine, and so wasn’t currently sitting at my desk, I wouldn’t have had a chance to flick though this week’s Bookseller, before it gets filed away first thing tomorrow morning by the ever-efficient Heather.

And that would have been a tragedy. Because what an issue it is.

The highlight by far is William Boot’s column which is dedicated to our very own Chairman, Anthony Cheetham. It seems that Boot’s biography of Mr C is nearing completion and that Anthony’s name is an anagram of ‘Enhance a hot myth’. Excellent. I’m thinking of making that our mission statement.

But there’s more. Flicking back to page 25, I strike gold with a letter from Michael O’Mara, head of Michael O’Mara books, publisher of such Booker nominees as ‘Eats, Shites and Leaves’, ‘A Shite History of Nearly Everything’ and ‘The World’s Stupidest Celebrities’*. Michael writes…

I refer to the extremely insulting comment about my company in the issue of 11th November. Your writer, Giles Ellliot… states that: “Robin Cooper’s move from Michael O’Mara to Time Warner for The Return of the Timewaster Letters should boost his sales…”… His comments imply that my company is a second-rate publisher and that we failed to do a good job of publishing the original Timewaster Letters… It’s easy to forget that when Robin Cooper came to us, he was a completely unknown author whose text had been rejected by many of the large publishers.

Ha! Presumably ‘completely unknown author’ Robin Cooper is entirely unrelated to his alter-ego, Robert Popper, former Commissioning Editor for Entertainment and Comedy at Channel 4 and co-creator of the absolutely brilliant Look Around You. After all, an author who is able to phone up Ricky Gervais and have him write a gushing blurb for the front of his (actually very excellent) book would barely have any effect on sales, eh Michael?

Dammit. I promised myself I’d stop taking easy pot-shots at my fellow publishers. Which is why I haven’t said anything thus far about our friends at Chrysalisrenaming themselves ‘Anova’.

No, not Ananova. That’s a hugely famous news site. And not Anova Microsystems. They just own the web address. I’m sure no one else will get confused. And if the business tanks again, they can always rename themselves ‘Gogle’.

No. Enough cattiness. I’ve got a contract to finish. And then it’s off to Amazon to stock up Michael O’Mara books. Hmmm – will it be (and I swear these are real) ‘Humped Me, Dumped Me: Why You Were Fucked and Chucked and How to Bounce Back’, ‘The Jordan Joke Book’ or ‘The Complete Book of Farting’?

Decisions, decisions.

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