Tommi and Laura’s US Travels

I’ve just got back to the office after two and a half weeks in the US. Here’s a little round-up of what kept Tommi and me so busy in Boston, Philadelphia and the surrounding areas.

Yankee Book Pedlar

Our first meeting of the trip was with Yankee Book Pedlar, a US library supplier, in Contoocook, New Hampshire. While Tommi had visited before, this was my first visit and so they kindly gave us an overview of how they work. I especially enjoyed being shown how the books are profiled, and was amazed to hear that a team of fewer than 10 log over 60,000 books a year. These titles are profiled so as to ensure that university libraries get books that they are interested in, and only the books that they might want. The profiling is done with the book “in hand”, so the staff get to look at a large and diverse selection of titles each day. Tommi said that if he ever retires from publishing that this might be the job for him!


After our meeting, and driving in the wrong direction for half an hour (!), we took the coastal road back to Boston and enjoyed visiting Portsmouth, which was unsurprisingly very different to Portsmouth, UK.

EBSCO's Charging Station

On arrival at EBSCO we were given a tour of the offices, and were impressed with all the measures they are taking to be eco-friendly, such as installing solar panels on the roof of their offices; providing their reps with hybrid cars and electric charging points in the car park; developing a green staff café, complete with a solar water heater and providing staff (and Tommi and me!) with re-usable travel mugs. If you’d like to read more about sustainability, EBSCO’s blog on it can be found here. Following the meeting, Tommi and I returned to Boston via Salem. Although we didn’t find any witches, we did stumble upon this incredible second-hand bookshop.

Bookshop in Salem

The American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL) conference ran for the next four days and as usual we were very busy catching up with many academics and publishers, and selling our books of course. Amongst the most popular titles were Aya Matsuda’s edited volume Principles and Practices of Teaching English as an International Language, Theory and Practice in EFL Teacher Education edited by Julia Hüttner et al and Joel Bloch’s new book Plagiarism, Intellectual Property and the Teaching of L2 Writing. We are already looking forward to next year’s meeting in Dallas and to receiving book proposals based on some of the interesting projects that we were told about.

Boston Bruins versus Tampa Bay Lightning

After the conference was over, and before leaving for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Conference in Philadelphia, Tommi and I found time to enjoy a well-deserved break: a not-so-relaxing, but very fun, evening at the Boston Bruins versus Tampa Bay Lightning Hockey match. While Tommi might maintain Finnish hockey is better (!), it was the most exciting hockey game I’ve ever seen.

On arrival in Philadelphia, Tommi barely had time to eat a cheesesteak before it was time for the TESOL conference to get underway. Our stall was very popular, giving us little time to explore the exhibition hall, and the evenings were filled by fellow publisher Caslon’s drinks reception in one of Philadelphia’s historic buildings and an enjoyable dinner with some of our colleagues from CAL. Before we knew it, it was time for Tommi to head on to Canada for AERA and for me to take a few days’ holiday in New York before returning to the UK. Watch this space for news about Tommi’s Canadian trip.


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