To celebrate the coming of winter and the holiday that comes with it, we met on Friday, the 16th of December to talk about books about bookshops. Eben Muse, the author of Fantasies of the Bookstore, started the conversation off by presenting some of the books on his bookshelves that celebrate bookshops, fantasize about them, direct you to them, or tell you how to run your own. The discussion that followed included some other gems, including (in no particular order):

Continue Reading “BYOBooks-Bookshops”

Geraldine Cox at Kirkdale Bookshop

Geraldine Cox, owner-manager of Kirkdale Bookshop in Sydenham, London

As part of their series exploring what contributes to the enduring success of established booksellers, Kate Gunning, Acting Membership Manager for the BA, talks to Geraldine Cox, owner-manager of Kirkdale Bookshop in Sydenham, London. [This interview previously appeared in the December 2022 issue of the BA’s Bookselling Essentials magazine.]

How did you get into bookselling?

I worked in the local library in the holidays and helped run the school library, so when I was applying for university after my A levels, my father asked if I would rather start a bookshop with him; I decided to give it a go. In September 1966 we started cleaning an old motorcycle shop in Sydenham, southeast London. We opened officially on 13th October 1966. The shop started off quite small and gradually extended over the years. There isn’t an inch of space left!

Continue Reading “Geraldine Cox at Kirkdale Bookshop”

Matter of Bookshops 2022

Conference Programme

Wednesday, September 7th
11.30 Registration & Lunch

12:30 Introductions and Welcome from Meryl Halls (Booksellers Association)

13.00 Panel 1 Bookshop Histories
 Kristen Highland: The Monumental Bookstore
 Maria Vassilopolous: The light and dark of the book trade — Christina Foyle and her bookselling years
 Andrew Nash: Bookshops and Publishers’ Travellers in the mid-1930s

Continue Reading “Conference Programme”

‘Booksellers as Placemakers’: new report now live

A new study, Booksellers As Placemakers, commissioned by the Booksellers Association, shows that over 90% of booksellers work actively to support local priorities, such as place marketing, walkability, provision of recreational and cultural spaces, and maintaining economic attractive town and city centres.

The new report, Booksellers As Placemakers, was authored by the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University and analysed feedback from 205 bookshops based across the UK.

Key findings from the research showed that 92% of bookshops contributed to the local non-retail offer such as events and festivals, 99% to the economic attractiveness of their town centres, 98% to ‘place-marketing’ of their towns, and 96% to the ‘liveability’ of their towns, while 77% were proactively involved in networks and partnerships with local councils, and 70% helped to remove barriers to entry for new businesses in the area.

You can read the full press release on the Booksellers Association website here

Reading, Wanting and Broken Economics

An Interview with Dr Simon Frost

Dr Simon Frost, Principal Academic in English at Bournemouth University and author of Reading, Wanting, and Broken Economics: A Twenty-First-Century Study of Readers and Bookshops in Southampton around 1900 (SUNY Press, 2021) part of SUNY, speaks with Dr Eben Muse (the Stephen Colclough Centre for the History and Culture of the Book) about the cultural and economic place of bookstores, the shifting relationship between economics and literature, and books as material, commodified, and contested objects of economic exchange.

Interview with Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop

Diane Bailey and Geoff Young at Pen'rallt Gallerhy Bookshop
Diane Bailey and Geoff Young at Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop

Machynlleth, an ancient market town in Mid-Wales, supports 4 bookshops: Dyfi Valley Bookshop (used and antiquarian books), Coch-y-Bonddu Books (angling, game shooting, sporting dogs and falconry), the newly opened Literary Cat Books, and Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop — opened by Diane Bailey and Geoff Young ten years ago, not “so that we can make a lot of money” but “because books are important.” These independent booksellers specialize in “books that we are happy to have on the shelves, books that mean something to us” especially photography, politics, Welsh writers (in Welsh or English) and interesting fiction. The shop is just a few doors from the MOMA Machynlleth art gallery with which they have close links, and they write a regular photography feature for the O’r Pedwar Gwynt literary newspaper. I spoke with them shortly after they had re-opened for browsing.

Continue Reading “Interview with Pen’rallt Gallery Bookshop”

Interview with Anne Brichto of Addyman Books

Anne Brichto and Derek Addyman measuring 2 metre distance before re-opening their shop.
Anne Brichto and Derek Addyman measuring 2-metre distance before re-opening their shop.

Anne Brichto and Derek Addyman opened Addyman Books in 1986, Murder and Mayhem in 1997, and in 2003 the Addyman Annex. All three stores are within walking distance of each other in the book town of Hay-on-WyeThe stores specialize in collectable and antiquarian detective fiction, science fiction, classic paperbacks, modern First editions, children’s books, as well as fiction and poetry. In addition to the three shops, Addyman Books sells regularly online, and Anne has maintained a popular #Bookstagram blog for several years. Anne lives upstairs in the original Addyman Books building. She spoke to me in May about the impact of the pandemic on their bookstores.

Continue Reading “Interview with Anne Brichto of Addyman Books”

La Librería ¿un comercio esencial?

Lección Inaugural de la Maestría en Estudios Editoriales (tercera cohorte)

La Librería ¿un comercio esencial?

A cargo de: Jean Yves Mollier Doctor en Literatura Francesa y en Letras y Ciencias Humanas por la Universidad de París I Doctor Honoris Causa por la Universidad de Lausana Profesor emérito de la Universidad de Versalles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines

La Maestría en Estudios Editoriales del Instituto Caro y Cuervo se complace en invitar a la Lección inaugural de su tercera cohorte (2020-2022), que estará a cargo del profesor Jean-Yves Mollier (Roanne, 1947), uno de los más destacados investigadores de la historia del libro y la edición contemporánea. Autor de libros como Michel et Calmann Lévy ou la naissance de l’édition moderne (1836-1891) (1984), L’Argent et les Lettres. Histoire du capitalisme d‘édition. 1880-1920 (1989), Louis Hachette (1800-1864). Le fondateur d‘un empire (1999), La lecture et ses publics à l’époque contemporaine. Essais d‘histoire culturelle (2001), traducido al español en 2013, o Edition, presse et pouvoir en France au XXe siècle (2008), el profesor Mollier ha sido también un notable dinamizador del campo de los estudios editoriales en su más amplia acepción, aportando al estudio histórico de las revistas, la cultura mediática, las colecciones editoriales, y el comercio de librería. En torno a este último tema, fue responsable de la compilación Le Commerce de la librairie en France au XIXe siècle. 1789-1914 (1997) y actualmente tiene en prensa una Histoire de la librairie, obra que promete ser el primer gran panorama histórico sobre las librerías y sus innumerables mutaciones espaciales y temporales.