* Update: All copies of the Hoxton Mini Press book were taken within two hours. See pic at bottom of this story
PSST, WANT A FREE BOOK? Nah, mate, it’s kosher, straight up, a real kushti read for nuffink, knowwhaddImean?
Hackney publisher Hoxton Mini Press (HMP) is to give away to bleary-eyed commuters 1,500 copies of a reprint that arrived from the printer with a blemish on the back cover.
The London Fields press’s co-founder Ann Waldvogel said that rather than throw the books out, as a supermarket might get rid of perfectly good fruit with a small dimple, HMP would hand out I’ve Lived in East London for 86½ Years at Underground stations.
The story of otherwise-obscure Jewish Cockney Joseph Markovitch (not the actor), who left the capital only once for a trip to the seaside and died aged 86 in December 2013, is illustrated with fine colour and monotone photographs (some on this page) by HMP co-founder Martin Usborne, Waldvogel’s husband.
The book will be distributed on Blue Monday 15 January 2018, “the most miserable day of the (northern) year — apparently,” says Waldvogel. “Whether it is a sad day or not… this book will bring a smile or laugh to Londoners during their morning commute.
“Joseph Markovitch’s story is heart-warming… about being open to strangers and how this openness can lead to friendship.”
With luck, you can collect a copy of the I’ve Lived…, first published in 2013 at £12.95, at Old Street, Liverpool Street, Farringdon and Holborn Underground stations beteen 7.30am and 9.30am.
Hamish Scott 120118
* Translation of words in first paragraph: nuffink (Cockney) — nothing; kosher (Yiddish), straight up — genuine; kushti (Romanez/Romany, British Gypsy) — good/lovely; knowwhaddImean — self-explanatory when you separate the words
* Apart from Ann Waldvogel portrait by David Altheer all pictures on this page are by Martin Usborne.
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.