Avid Reader won’t stock Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform launches

Former premier Campbell Newman will launch his memoir at the Tattersall’s club on Wednesday. Campbell Newman with his wife Lisa Newman at the launch. Photo: Glenn Hunt
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Campbell Newman’s new book “Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform” at a book store in Brisbane. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Campbell Newman with his wife Lisa Newman and author Gavin King at the launch of Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform. Photo: Glenn Hunt

Former Premier Campbell Newman has labelled bookstores who have not stocked his book as “undemocratic” and an attack on free speech.

Avid Reader in West End is one of a handful of bookstores which has refused to stock Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform.

And Mr Newman, who is on the campaign trail for the Gavin King penned tome, told ABC 612 Brisbane he didn’t understand the retailers’ stance against the book.

“It’s anti free speech, it’s antidemocratic,” Mr Newman said

“Would they back other books being banned like that?

“I think it’s a very dangerous road. There’s no dangerous ideas in the book.

“It’s just one bloke’s story and quite a candid confession as well.”

One of the Newman government’s first decisions was to withdraw funding for the Premier’s Literary Awards and it hurt the industry, according to Fiona Stager from Avid Reader in Brisbane’s inner west.

“We saw that as an attack on the writing, editing, book-publishing, book-selling community in Queensland,” she told 612 ABC Brisbane.

“It seemed ironic that the first thing he did after losing was to turn around [and] be involved in the publication of a book.

“A lot of my customers lost their jobs.

“They either worked in government or organisations which were defunded.

“It had a big impact on my first Christmas.

“Booksellers have a long memory.” Just to be clear, we haven’t banned it. We’re just not stocking it. Customers are welcome to order it. https://t上海龙凤论坛/KmbIfZu4Ya— Avid Reader Bookshop (@avidreader4101) October 6, 2015

Book author Gavin King – an ex-journalist turned Liberal National Party MP who lost his seat at the January 31 election – said there were up to six bookshops that had declined to stock the tome including stores in Hobart, Melbourne and Queensland.

It comes of the University of Queensland Press rejected an offer to publish the former premier’s book.

Mr  Newman’s much-publicised memoir will be officially launched on Wednesday.

Can Do: Campbell Newman and the Challenge of Reform ,covers Mr Newman’s early life and political career.

In particular, it focuses on how “the LNP lost the unlosable election” in January when Annastacia Palaszczuk led Labor to an unlikely victory.

It also touches on the controversial appointment of Tim Carmody as the Queensland’s chief justice, with Mr Newman expressing regret over his short tenure in the role.

The n Institute for Progress will host the authorised biography’s launch at the Brisbane Tattersall’s Club on Wednesday afternoon.

The AIP is promoting the event as the first time the dethroned premier has spoken publicly since this year’s state poll.

The book was always scheduled to be released this week but some bookstores in Brisbane’s CBD began selling it last Friday, unaware of any embargo.

– with Staff Reporters and AAP

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