Invasion of the Uggs



I’m a peaceable man – not easily provoked.   And I suppose I should have known it was a mistake for a man of a certain age to start commenting on fashion and/or lack of it in the book trade (see The Whole Art of Dress below).  But what has happened since then is that the blog has been bombarded with a wave of spam “comments” intended to advise us on these matters – and in particular the highly fashionable sheepskin Ugg Boots.   Why?   What have we done to deserve this attention from Ugg robots?   Just because we say “contemporary sheep” to describe a binding it doesn’t mean that we are contemporary sheep (or that we want to wear it).  

The excellent WordPress spamware routinely weeds all these spurious comments out – but now and again asks me first whether I want to allow the comment to stand.  And, just for today, I will – six Ugg “comments” (out of about 200 received in the last month) – all illiterate, all totally incomprehensible and all received within a few hours on New Year’s Day.  Links over to the right.  

Elephant Girl

Elephant Girl

Let me make it clear – I have no particular animus against Uggs.  To be sure, they are just overgrown granny slippers – and the worst and silliest fashion since leg-warmers.  They are of course guaranteed to make even the most elegant of girls walk like an elephant – and they’re (a) hot,  (b) smelly,  (c) very bad for your feet, and (d) ridiculous.   And they are not even waterproof, so bloody useless in winter. Sheepskin – sheep-brained more like it.   Sheepskin is perfectly serviceable as a cheapish binding material – but for fashion? – just think about football commentator John Motson for a moment.   But I was happy to leave Uggs alone – I wouldn’t have felt the need to say any of this unless you – Margiotta, Melody, Main, Logero, Bastic, Marinacci and Ponti (whoever the hell you are with your g-mail addresses) – had not taken to spamming me every five minutes.  It’s come to something when the only way you can sell the wretched things is by trying to interfere with a blog about the rare book trade.

They are hereby formally banned from all ABA bookfairs and bookshops.  

But if you must wear them elsewhere, then at least listen to the lovely Katherine Akra tell you when and how (scroll down to Video Links bottom right).  Yes – she really does say “matchy-matchy is always a no-no” – a hint here perhaps on arranging your stock at a bookfair and a worthy catch-phrase to take us into the New Year.  (But also read the delusional comments her piece has attracted). 

Never fear – help is at hand – a new vaccine, Uggcitrin, has now been developed – and again there is a link to the right under Video Links.  Do please watch this (as well as The Uggs Song) and start the New Year with a broad smile.

About Laurence Worms - Ash Rare Books

Laurence Worms has owned and run Ash Rare Books since 1971. He represented the antiquarian book trade on the (British) National Book Committee from 1993 to 2002 and has been six times an elected member of the Council of the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association. He was largely responsible for drafting the Association’s Code of Good Practice introduced in 1997, served as Honorary Secretary of the Association from 1998 to 2001 and as President from 2011 to 2013. He is a former member of the Council of the Bibliographical Society and continues to serve on the Council of the London Topographical Society. He writes and lectures on various aspects of the history of the book and map trades, and has lectured at the universities of Cambridge, London, Reading and Sheffield, as well as at the Bibliographical Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Warburg Institute and at Gresham College. He teaches annually at the London Rare Books School and also organises the monthly Book Collecting Seminars at Senate House, University of London. Published work includes the compilation of fourteen ‘lives’ for the “Oxford Dictionary of National Biography”, a number of articles for “The Oxford Companion to the Book” and the chapter on early English maps and atlases for the fourth volume of “The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain”. A major essay on the same subject also appeared in “The History of Cartography” published by the University of Chicago Press. His long-awaited “British Map Engravers, co-written with Ashley Baynton-Williams, was published to critical acclaim in 2011”. More recently, he contributed the numerous biographical notes to Peter Barber’s hugely successful “London : A History in Maps”, co-published by the British Library and the London Topographical Society in 2012.
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5 Responses to Invasion of the Uggs

  1. garethjames says:

    If this doesn’t go viral, there’s no justice in the world…,,

  2. sparkle uggs says:

    In cold winter, most people are considered warm, and easy action. ugg kensingtonvery famous professional keep warming around the world.

  3. sydneyface says:

    Just had a good old chuckle watching the Uggcitrin, however I fear for my Ugg boots back home, please don’t go burning them!!

  4. ashrarebooks says:

    Of course I won’t burn your boots, darling daughter far away – although Gareth’s offer is rather tempting (bring the bottle round anyway). Thirty more spam ‘comments’ from the Uggbots to delete when we got back from the coast. And people are clicking on the Ugg adverts rather than the funny videos – so I’m giving up on that one. Love you much. x.

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