This just happens to be my first blog. Yes, I have written several articles for magazines and been interviewed several times in my guise as Ian Fleming’s bibliographer, yet this still happens to be my very first blog. I face it with some degree of trepidation as well, treading new ground and trying to be cool and clever and witty and smart (and probably ending up slipping on a virtual banana skin). So I’m going to ignore all that and simply aim to be informative. It’s tried and tested, and after cataloguing around 15,000 books in my time I know I can at least do it to some extent. So here we are then, beginning with a little information about our business; we’re six months in to a Brave New World (see what I did there), which has found two established bookselling names in one big home: Adrian Harrington Rare Books, and Hall’s Bookshop.
We share premises at the revered book store on the corner of Chapel Place in Tunbridge Wells, with Hall’s occupying the ground floor and selling all manner of used books – recent and otherwise – well-presented but uncatalogued, and arriving and leaving with more bustle than the rush hour at Waterloo (Britain’s busiest station, railway fans). Adrian Harrington’s domain is the rare book room upstairs, stocking fine and collectible tomes in a host of different fields – mostly available online, and beautifully photographed by Ben for your perusal and wonderment. Each floor has its own website, and use various social media; a healthy element of competition has set in, taking the form of a raging inter-departmental battle for internet posts, trends and followers. Lucas is our in-house statistician and the key-man for all matters chart- and graph-related. Sometimes there aren’t enough colours in the Kaleidoscope for the tables he’s planning. At the last count, Harrington’s have a little catching up to do in the tweets-to-followers ratio; come on Tabitha, get posting for Adrian for a change!
Our lovely new premises also benefits from a gallery space in the basement, currently the place to be if you have an interest in Military History, as we have been holding a pop-up subject-based event downstairs this month. Also on hand for a little respite from this incredible heat (i’m writing this in early-July and it’s 86 degrees outside); it’s refreshingly cool down there. First advertised as a temporary event, this has proved to be rather popular and we are refreshing the stock on a regular basis. As a result, military sales are marching onward – as Lucas will attest – and are now only second in the league to our top-selling subject of literature. In consequence, we are continuing the current downstairs-set up over the course of the summer.
Both Hall’s and Adrian Harrington have been busy at book fairs of late, with Hall’s having just exhibited at the large PBFA Premier Fair in Bristol, revamped as a ‘Vintage Fair’ with groovy side displays, live music and merriment. In early August, we’ll be taking our regular stand at the Lewes Book Fair. The staff at Adrian Harrington are working through fresh acquisitions from our three major summer fairs: the Royal National in Bloomsbury, the ILEC fair in West London and, the daddy of them all, the ABA show at Olympia. We’re putting out regular stock lists and updates via email so if you’re intrigued as to what we have to offer please feel free to sign up at http://www.harringtonbooks.co.uk.
So there it is. Somehow I’ve reached my allotted word limit with a kind of rambling newsletter-cum-shameless advert. Nevertheless, I do think it contained some actual facts. More of a blag than a blog, but I think I got away with it. Goodbye.