First Annual Bookselling Research Network Meeting – 21st January 2022

In January, we were delighted to host the first annual meeting of the Bookselling Research Network (BRN), bringing together those from industry, associations and academia that share a common interest in the history, practice, and culture of bookselling. Despite the challenges of the last two years, the BRN has been quietly building momentum, and it was wonderful to bring together interested parties from across the globe -– including Colombia, the USA, Europe and Japan -– to discuss the aims of the BRN.

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Notes from BRN Annual Meeting 2022

Participants: Samantha Rayner (SR); Eben Muse (EM); Meryl Halls (MH); Noel Murphy (NM); Rachel Calder (RC); Matthew Chambers (MC); Simon Eliot (SE); Audrey Laing (AE); Andrew Kamei-Dyche (AKD); Eleanor Shevlin (ES); Joe Cain (JC); Louise O’Hare (LOH); Simon Frost (SF); Will Smith (WS); Anna Muenchrath (AM); Christine D’Arpa (CDA); Corinna Norrick-Ruehl (CNR); Juan-David Murrilo (JDM); Kaja Marczewska (KM); Jakob Stougaard-Nielsen (JSN); Sofie Angharad Roberts (SAR).

Apologies: Bob Cox-Wrightson; Tamsin Roswell.

Date & Time: 21 January 2022, 3:00-5:00pm GMT

Note: Participants that want an active role in the BRN to please email what they are able to contribute to SAR. Please email by February 7th.

Welcome and introduction

SR: The background to setting up the BRN is based on the lack of research between the book trade and academia. The network was established to create a space for those interested in bookshops, a place to share relevant information, history, and to join the dots. The BRN website is a community and information hub.

The aims of this meeting are to build the network’s aims and objectives.

EM: We have funding for four BRN sessions and some funds towards this year’s conference at Hay on Wye. These events will discuss the need of booksellers and the interests of booksellers, and bring these elements together.

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Revisiting El comercio de librería en América Latina

Since 2019, the Instituto Caro y Cuervo, under the lead of the M.A Publishing Studies coordinator, Juan David Murillo[1], worked to develop an international colloquium to reconstruct and reflect on the socio-cultural history of bookshops in Latin America: Coloquio internacional. El comercio de librería en América Latina: inicios, expansiones, conexiones (siglos xviii-xx. This international colloquium ran online from 21st to 23rd April 2021 with the support of Red Latinoamericana de Cultura Gráfica. It brought together more than four hundred attendees and a select group of twenty-eight speakers, plus twelve moderators from around the world (from places such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and some other European countries), among which were Jean-Yves Mollier, Pedro Rueda, Arnulfo de Santiago, Marisa Midori Deaecto and Marina Garone. The proceedings were recorded and made available on Caro y Cuervo TV. Desde 2019, el Instituto Caro y Cuervo, bajo la cabeza del coordinador de la Maestría en Estudios Editoriales., Juan David Murillo[1] –y como parte de un proyecto de investigación– propuso desarrollar un coloquio internacional que permitiera avanzar y reflexionar sobre la historia sociocultural de las librerías en América Latina. Del 21 al 23 de abril de 2021, y con el apoyo de la Red Latinoamericana de Cultura Gráfica, Este importante encuentro tuvo lugar de forma virtual, reuniendo a más de cuatrocientos asistentes para escuchar a un selecto grupo de veintiocho ponentes, además de doce moderadores de varios países (como Argentina, Brasil, México, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Perú y algunos otros países europeos), entre los que se destacaban Jean-Yves Mollier, Pedro Rueda Ramírez, Arnulfo de Santiago, Marisa Midori  Deaecto  y Marina Garone, por nombrar algunos de ellos.
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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.

Santa Cruz and the Livraria Duas Cidades

Livraria Duas Cidades was the bookstore and publisher for São Paulo’s intelligentsia. Founded in the middle of the last century with the encouragement of the Dominican Order, and under the leadership of a Dominican priest who left religious life in the 1970s to devote himself only to the world of books, Livraria Duas Cidades took root in the urban and socio-cultural space of the city of São Paulo between 1954 and 2006.

Fue una librería y editora de la intelectualidad de São Paulo. Fundada a mediados del siglo pasado por el aliento de la Orden Dominica y bajo el liderazgo de un sacerdote que dejó la vida religiosa en la década de 1970 para dedicarse sólo al mundo de los libros, Livraria Duas Cidades se arraigó en el espacio urbano y sociocultural de la ciudad de São Paulo entre 1954 y 2006.

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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.

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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.

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Indies in Scotland

I recently carried out some research into independent bookshops in Scotland. This research builds on my ongoing interest into books, bookshops and authors, which emerged from working in Waterstone’s for many years and then doing a PhD on bookshops and bookselling culture. While my previous research had tended to focus on chain bookshops, I became interested in exploring the role of independents (Indies) as I feel, despite the many economic challenges they face, they seem to have a growing relevance and presence in the bookselling arena, and perhaps more importantly, are tied inextricably to our growing cultural  interest in all things artisan,  individual and unique. This is evidenced by the growth of book festivals in Scotland, and the distinctive consumption experience that so many people are now looking for.

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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.

First bookstore

Back in 1980 Ely had only one bookshop, Bennett’s
Back in 1980 Ely had only one bookshop, Bennett’s — now a tea house

My first visit to a bookshop was an occasion which I can still remember, and it set a pattern for a love of books which has lasted all my life. I grew up in Ely, Cambridgeshire, a small cathedral city in the Cambridgeshire fens. Back in 1980 Ely had only one bookshop, Bennett’s. It was a fabulous place, crammed with books, and to 9 year old me it seemed enormous. It’s not there now – a tea-room occupies the building – and it’s a building which looks so tiny it’s a wonder it could of been a bookshop at all. But to me, it was a place to explore with my mum and lose myself in.

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