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-Wye. The 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.
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.