The Booksellers Association (BA) is delighted to announce the first of its IBW Bookseller Collectibles for Independent Booksellers Week 2014 (IBW) – a specially commissioned essay, The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted  by bestselling author Mark Forsyth, which will be published by Icon Books.

Mark Forsyth is a blogger and author whose books have made him one of the UK’s best-known commentators on words. His book The Etymologicon was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller and was followed by the similarly successful The Horologicon and The Elements of Eloquence.

In his essay, Mark Forsyth will explore why Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy would never have met online, the pleasure of leafing through a dictionary, and why only a bookshop can give you what you never knew you were looking for.

Mark Forsyth said:  “To be asked to write the pamphlet for Independent Booksellers Week is both a pleasure and an honour (two things that rarely coincide).  I’ve spent so long snuffling around in bookshops, that it’s wonderful to be able to look back at my life and call it research.  I firmly believe that the bookshop is alive and well with a long life ahead of it, and I intend to explain my reasoning.”

Andrew Furlow, Sales and Marketing Director, Icon Books, said: “As an independently-owned and independent-minded publisher, we at Icon are naturally huge supporters of Independent Booksellers Week. It’s fantastic to be working with the Booksellers Association and publishing Mark Forsyth’s characteristically deft, idiosyncratic and funny essay especially for IBW this year.

Anything that publishers can do to shout from the hilltops about the value independent bookshops bring to readers and writers is well worth all of the hard work!”

Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services, The Booksellers Association, said: “This is the third year we have had an IBW Collectibles range, and we are delighted to be working with Mark Forsyth and the Icon Books team.  Feedback from booksellers and the public has been very positive towards The IBW Bookseller Collectibles, and we are very excited with the ideas that Icon Books have suggested and all the ways they are supporting IBW in 2014.”

The IBW Bookseller Collectibles range provides select limited edition collectible items which will be available only in independent bookshops during IBW (28 June-5 July).

In addition to The Unknown Unknown, Icon Books will also be issuing early, and exclusively, for independent booksellers participating in IBW, the paperback Mark Forsyth’s The Elements of Eloquence, which is published in paperback in September 2014.   Mark Forsyth will also be on tour, taking part in events every night of the week during IBW.

Mark Forsyth is a blogger and author who was given a copy of the Oxford English Dictionary as a christening present and has never looked back. In 2009, he started the inkyfool.com blog in order to share his heaps of useless information with a verbose world.  Follow Mark on his blog and on Twitter: @inkyfool.