Karnac Diary

Monday 8th April 2019


The past week has been quiet at Karnac Bookshop but we have been grateful as it is a time of change for us and gives us a chance to catch up.

We have had a number of interesting new titles arriving though. The International Dictionary of Psychotherapy hit our shelves. Edited by Giorgio Nardone with contributions from a host of experts in the field, we fully expect this title to be in our Top Ten Bestsellers in the near future.


The psychoanalytic “classics” sell as well as ever. One title that sells regularly is Dream Analysis by Ella Freeman Sharpe. We were contacted by Professor Tobin from Leeds University with an unusual query a couple of months ago. His wife had bought a copy of the book from Karnac Books (from the original shop on Gloucester Rd, priced at £7.99! Ahhh, 1988, it took some of us back to our University days and memories of some of the hits of 1988: Guns n Roses, The Pet Shop Boys and Tracy Chapman). The Prof was reading through the book when he noticed that pages 19 – 34 were missing. As an example of our excellent customer service, we asked him to send the book back to us. We contacted the publisher, requested a replacement copy and sent it on the Prof complete with pages 19 – 34.  The Prof sent us an e-mail: “Belated but heartfelt thanks for sending me the Dream Analysis book. Happy to provide the opportunity for a history lesson for your younger staff, and a trip down memory lane for yourself; and in the process, reminding me how elderly I am. :) I have indeed enjoyed finally reading pages 19-34. Well worth waiting for. You have responded brilliantly, and of course we shall continue promoting Karnac Books, at every opportunity.”


We always aim to please!


A surprise bestseller, we have already had to re-order stock of Catafalque: Carl Jung and the End of Humanity (2-volume set) by Peter Kingsley. It seems to be The Red Book of 2019 and is available in-store and on line. Our in-store Jungian section is always very popular and customers spend many hours happily browsing before buying a title or two. Do come in and take a look if you are passing.

We are gearing up for the Easter break and will keep you posted. We are seeing a number of publishers’ reps in the week and will be ensuring that we get all the best new titles as soon as they are available.

Monday 1st April 2019


This week has been a little less busy but nonetheless there is a lot going on. Organisations have begun to realise that Conference team is up and running again and we have been invited to a lot of conferences in the coming months.

This keeps us busy as we tailor the books we take to the conference theme and the speakers as well taking suggestions from the organisers.

Let us know if you would like us to attend any events you are running, we will always try and help. E-mail us at shop@karnacbooks.com or call in at our shop to discuss over a cup of tea.


We have been pretty busy in the shop this week; there have been some great new books coming in. And some titles continuing to do very well. Margot Waddell’s On Adolescence is a perennial bestseller and one that give us a great deal of satisfaction. Yet another one commissioned by Oliver! He’s not bad at his job.

We are also pleased to have a new title by Chris Mawson: Psychoanalysis and Anxiety: From Knowing to Being. Chris is one of our favourite authors and we very much enjoyed working with him on The Complete Works of Bion. When originally published it was a beautiful set of hardbacks admired by all. The Bion family is a great supporter of Karnac and we love working with them.

There will be a few changes at Karnac over the next few weeks. Now that Marcus has moved on, Nikki will be covering the shop floor on Thursdays and Fridays. Nikki has been with Karnac since Sept 2012 and in that time has gained a lot of knowledge about psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.  Do ask her about anything you need to know, she will do her best to help. Loreta and Taneisha will be covering her role in Mail Order.  It is always good to have a change.


We like chatting to our customers when they call in. Our customer of the week was Seamus from Dublin. He was very disappointed to cross the road from Finchley Rd tube and to discover what was his beloved bookshop is now a coffee shop!


Luckily a short stroll towards Swiss Cottage, past the BP garage and he found us. I asked him what made Karnac Bookshop special. His reply: I did my training at the Tavistock in the early 90s, travelling weekly from Dublin over the 4 years, and frequently spending time (and money!) in Karnac then. I found your experience, knowledge and helpfulness extremely supportive and spent hours browsing. It really felt like a second home in the work and one I have really missed. I just wanted you to know I have immense regard for the service you offer and am glad you are surviving the market pressures.

Thank you for finding us, Seamus! It is great to know we are appreciated.


Let us know your memories of Karnac over the years – good or bad (we are always happy to learn from our mistakes).

Monday 25th March 2019


In February 2018, Karnac Bookshop moved premises to just up the road to 12, New College Parade, Finchley Rd, NW3 5EP. We were delighted to stay in the area and to be able to continue to serve the psychotherapeutic community in North London and beyond (we even ventured to a NEAPP conference in Newcastle last October – that was fun!).


There have been a number of staff changes at Karnac Bookshop. Taneisha has taken on the role of Bookshop Manager as of January and since then the shop has been looking even better and we have been operating very smoothly. Siobhan is our assistant manager making sure we are fully stocked with the very latest titles in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Loreta efficiently ensures our mail order trade continues and Nikki looks after the post room and getting books to our customers. We continue to offer free P & P throughout the world. Richard now works part time and is the welcoming face you will see when you walk through the door. Richard has worked for Karnac for over 25 years and has a wealth of experience and knowledge. You will often see him running our bookstalls at various conferences and launches. Overall we have a most excellent team and we carry on providing an efficient service both online and in store. We feel we have settled in to our new premises and hope everyone knows we are still around providing an invaluable service.


It has been a busy fortnight at Karnac Bookshop. There have been a lot new books coming in that have been selling fast.  On the 16th March, we attended the UCL Psychoanalysis Unit’s conference The Sandlers: Some Internal Objects Revisited. It was great to see lots of you there and to meet the speakers. From hearing delegates chatting, it seemed that Jonathan Sklar delivered an intriguing and powerful lecture enjoyed by all. We were also up the road at Birkbeck at the BPF’s conference on Exploring Gender Diversity. Quite a different crowd to UCL in terms of attendees and we were made to feel very welcome – thank you. Finally the FPC held an event in Notting Hill at which Celia Harding spoke and did a signing for her book Dissecting the Superego. Her book was sold out, no mean feat! What a busy day for Karnac Bookshop and the conference team.


Our best selling book of the fortnight has been Nicola Abel-Hirsch’s Bion 365 originally contracted by Oliver so no surprises that it is proving to be a popular one.  We attended the book launch of Bion 365 on Friday 22nd March at the Institute of Psychoanalysis, Byron House. We enjoyed seeing many of you there and the book sold well. Our youngest member of staff, Marcus ran the launch bookstall. Marcus will be leaving us this month to take his exams in the summer and then go to University in September to study Medicine. We wish him the very best in the future and perhaps he will become one of our loyal customers once qualified!


Do come and visit us at our Bookshop on the Finchley Rd – we love the shop and enjoy working there. We are always pleased to see customers in store and offer recommendations and advice when needed.


Look out for our weekly diary on our website letting you know what we have been up to and what is coming up.

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