Archives for posts with tag: Bookshops

Hi all:

You might remember that when I left my job my plan was to learn the business of running a bookshop, and Anne and Derek from Addyman Books in Hay-on-Wye were kind enough to have me at their shops so I could learn on the job. It was a fantastic experience but due to personal circumstances I had to cut it short. I’m hoping to be able to revisit the experience sometime soon and I have not abandoned the idea, although I think I’ll need to get very creative about it (suggestions are welcome).

One of my thought for the shop would be to offer books from independent authors. But of course, stock is expensive and space is also a problem. And not all indie books are available in paper versions. I was investigating any options for this eventuality and I came across Seebook ( that seemed like an interesting option, but in its beginning. Now I’m pleased to say that the initiative has taken off, and apart from options for traditional publishers, it also offers an option for indie authors ( and those are also advertised in their website.



What is a Seebook? Here is their own description:

Seebook are attractive download cards for ebooks. The ideal solution to give an ebook as a present! They are Multiformat (ePub, Mobi for Kindle and PDF) suitable for any device. Without registrations. Without DRM. Also available in bookstores. Some contain extra features. Unlimited number of downloads.


Seebook brings back the digital content to the real world. When you buy one of our cards you will reproduce the experience of buying a physical book, but lighter, cheaper and ecological. You just have to scan or copy the code inside to download a personalized ebook instantly wherever you prefer: in a smartphone, a tablet, or a computer.

Here is the website:

I’m intrigued, as it offers the option of carrying your books with you any time without being lumbered with weight, and also without occupying incredible amounts of space. It can also be sent without spending a fortune and autographed, and if you know any shops, they can hardly say they don’t have space for them. And even if you don’t have your books available in paper it’s still a viable option. And you can add extra materials to make it more attractive.

Here is what they look like

Here is what they look like

They’ve kindly offered to send me some samples that they are sending to my mother’s address in Barcelona (the company is also from Barcelona) so I’ll let you know what they look like in real life. I know from the CEO that the ones they have created for traditional publisher have become available in quite a number of bookshops in Spain and they’re hoping to be in Foyles soon, so you might come across them.

I’ll keep you posted, but I’m intrigued.

Thank you all for reading, and if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment, and CLICK!

I’ve met with Rosa Sala and hope to write an updated post soon. I’m just waiting on some more information. In the meantime, I thought I’d share this new video they’ve created, because it’s so cute!

Hello everyone. Today is Tuesday and I bring you something a little special. I don’t  know if you remember but a few months ago I told you I had left my job and I was going to be trying other things. I spent some time in Barcelona, ​​visiting my parents, I came back to England, I published a  novella ‘Family, lust and cameras‘ (never hurts to do some advertising), I set about writing my new romance novel (‘ I Love Your Cupcakes‘ if I don’t change the title), and I’ve been translating my works and those of other writers.
But I had other plans. You will remember that I have talked about Hay-on-Wye before (here’s the link to the first post, in case you didn’t see it).

Hay-on-Wye's castle

Hay-on-Wye’s castle

It is a gorgeous town in Wales where there are many nice bookshops. ‘Town of books’. In 1962 Richard Booth (you can see a picture of his gorgeous bookshop that also has a lovely coffee-shop in my previous post) came and decided to open a bookshop. Many others bookseller followed suit, and now Hay runs an international literary festival every year, which has sometimes even been exported to other countries, and has become a haven for book lovers.

The clock tower in Hay

The clock tower in Hay

I would love to run a bookstore (the thing is complicated but what worthwhile thing isn’t) and I fell in love when I visited the place. Despite how much I like books, I have never had a business and I thought the best way to learn would be to dive right in. The first time I visited there I talked to Anne (co-owner of Addyman Books, in fact she and Derek have two more bookstores, Addyman Annex and Murder and Mayhem, of which there is also a photo in the previous post) and I told her I’d like to become a bookseller and to learn the business. After thinking about it, talking to friends (hello Sumi!) and thinking about it a bit more, I decided to get in touch with Anne. We spoke, I came back to see her … and now I have been here for a couple of weeks, learning the business of second-hand bookshops and enjoying life in the paradise of books.

One of the hens

One of the hens

I hope to do a few posts explaining how things are going. Right now I’m at Annie’s (no, not the same one), with Mike, Flora the cat, Ivy the dog and four hens who are great escapists (I used to find them outside more often than in the henhouse, although now their enclose has been reinforced and it’s like Fort Knox). I have spent most of the time in the Annex, but on Friday the 13th (very appropriate) I was covering ‘Muder and Mayhem’ a fantastic store, so I leave you some pictures.

Inside of 'Murder and Mayhem' a genre bookshops with plenty of atmosphere

Inside of ‘Murder and Mayhem’ a genre bookshop with plenty of atmosphere

Props in 'Muder and Mayhem'

Props in ‘Muder and Mayhem’

Oh, and the link to Addyman Books (although the website is undergoing some work).

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it, like, share, comment and  CLICK! And if you’re nearby, come and say hello!

 Barter bookshop (Peter Arris)

Hi all:

As you will remember, I have posted once (and revisited it as a Christmas special) asking everybody (readers in particular) what your ideal bookshop would be like. I also posted the same question in one of the groups in Goodreads (the UK group). Although my original question was posted months ago, it keeps getting replies. There are some that reach genius status (somebody wanted a bar in it, fireplaces figure highly, nooks and labyrinthine settings, comfy chairs, coffee, tea and cakes…), but there was a recent post that made me dream. I thought it deserved to be spread more widely and I (and E. whose reply I copy and the link to the bookshop she refers to too, as I really want to go and visit) hope our encouragement will make Sarah go forth writing a story about her magical bookshop. Go Sarah!

 message 80: by Sarah

Jan 17, 2014 07:38PM

Hi all

My ideal bookshop would have the classic deep leather chairs, winding stairs up to the next floor (or two), and little windows that you can peep out of and watch everyone else dashing about while you browse the cosy shop.

To save the walk back down the stairs, there would be a slide back down to the lower levels, made of wood of course.

The shop would have to be magic, for it would feel cosy, yet have enough room for buggies, wheelchairs and people with enormous back packs to browse without hindrance. There would be a lift, with someone dressed in a 1930s/40s Amercian lift attendant outfit, and jazz softly playing. Employees would also be on hand to help wheelchair users have the fun of using the slide too.

Mine would have foreign and literature/non-fiction films to hire, and weekly discussion evenings on such as books, philosophy, films. To reach the higher shelves, a couple of people would be employed who can walk on stilts, dressed up in a wonderful outfit of top hat, stripey trousers and top and for the guy, a long beard would be required.

On cold days, hot chocolate would be served and on warm days, cool homemade lemonade, spiced up for adults drinking it. For those immersed in a book who don’t notice the time and forget to go home, a school bell would be rung, and a friendly golden labrador would gently woof and tug at the sleeves of the dreamers (knowing instinctively those who are afraid of dogs and not troubling them)…

I think I’d better stop now because I could go on indefinitely with this…

Barter bookshop

message 82: by E.

Jan 18, 2014 06:37AM

Well my local bookshop is a little like Sarah’s although It has crooked uneven floors, so not so good for buggies. It’s a 15th century house with a little coffee shop on the ground floor, and many little interconnecting rooms, plus a rickety staircase. There’s a reading room with comfy old sofas so you can read to your hearts content.
New and second-hand books line the shelves and on some weekends, all the shopkeepers in town dress up in Dickensian costumes. Magic!

Here I asked E. where the bookshop she was talking about was, to add it to my list. And both, E. and I encouraged Sarah to write a story about her bookshops, and she said she hoped to write a children’s story about it.

message 84: by E.

Jan 18, 2014 08:26AM

East Grinstead, west Sussex, we’ve got the longest row of wood framed buildings in the country according to the blurb. I walk past them everyday, it really is a little gem, and you can get a steam train ride here too!

And no I’m not on the tourist board LOL!

East Grindstead bookshop

I leave  you a link to the discussion (as there are fantastic links to other places, great ideas, and I’d love to have more contributions there too), and also to my Pinterest board where I’m pinning bookshops that I like the look of (and some I have visited or hope to visit soon). Share yours also!

Link to discussion:

Pinterest board:

Thanks for reading, and you know, if you’ve enjoyed it, like, comment, share and CLICK!


Bookshop (Photo credit: conxa.roda)

My parents always tell me that when I was a small child, before I learned to read, I always wanted to know what any signs or anything with writing on it said. Later on, once I learned to read, I became an avid reader. My school was a pretty small neighbourhood school (it no longer exists) and it did not have a library, but the readers amongst us used to exchange books and read anything we could get our hands on, from ‘The Famous Five’ and the Adventure Series (I always preferred them to the Famous Five, but that’s me) to ‘Jaws’, Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, Gustavo Adolfo Becquer o Mercé Rodoreda.

I’ve always been happier with books than with any other presents (or nearly) and I still am.

When it comes to books I’m like a moth to light, if I see books anywhere I’ll go and have a look, it doesn’t matter if it’s a supermarket, a charity shop, a car-boot sale. And of course, I love bookshops although they’re having a bit of a hard time and have changed beyond recognition. And yes, now we have big bookstore chains, somewhat anonymous but usually reasonably supplied and full of other things, the small specialised bookshop, the independent bookstore, second-hand bookshops that are true time-travelling machines.

Because of my job there have been periods of my life where I’ve travelled a fair bit and one of the things I remember more clearly of the places where I’ve stayed (or visited)  is where the bookshops are (or where). I must admit to feeling really disappointed when I revisit a place where I’ve been before and a bookshop I liked has disappeared. It’s like losing an old friend. When it comes to bookshops, like most important things in life, they are not all created equal

Reflecting on all that, I wanted to ask you, readers, if you could have the bookshop of your dreams, what would it be like? Would it be enormous with everything on it? Or small but quirky with lots of character? Would it only sell books or sell related items (DVDs, e-readers, magazines and writing materials, audiobooks, other equipment…)? Would it sell other kinds of stuff (postcards, craft items, toys…)? Would it have a tea/coffee shop attached? Would it organise events (book readings and signings, host book clubs, run competitions, have other guests…)? Would it have only new books, second-hand books, have a section for exchanging books…? Books in several languages? Best-sellers and less well-known books, local interest books? Would it offer other services like Wi-Fi and e-store? Would it be located in a remote place, around the corner, in a shopping mall, in a hidden nook in a magical place?

Dream on! It’s free (for the time being!)

And thinking about this and after a fellow author and good friend sent me some pictures of one of her favourite bookshops, I decided to start a board on Pinterest dedicated to bookshops, and once I started checking I was amazed at the fabulous building and beautiful pictures people had pinned. Have a look, and if you’d like to pin your own pictures or others you find, let me know and I’ll invite you to pin with pleasure.

Thanks for reading, and if you’ve enjoyed it remember to like, comment, and share!


books (Photo credit: brody4)

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