So, my loves and morsels, my dearest hearts and favourite foes, here is all the news that’s fit to print:
On the 24th of December, Year of Our Lord 2014, two days after my 44th birthday, and just about 13 years after I first walked across the threshold, the doors of Adrian Harrington Rare Books at 64a Kensington Church Street will close for ever.
I interrupt your lamentations at this point, and urge you to cease tearing your raiment and scattering ash everywhere, because Adrian Harrington Rare Books will of course reopen almost immediately in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. All the necessary details can be found here: https://hallsbookshop.wordpress.com/
In fact the downstairs of Hall’s Bookshop is now entirely open to the public, go there now for your book purchasing needs, and say hi to Lucas, he’s tremendous.
It will be an exciting combination of book-selling disciplines and will be one of the few places in the country where you can buy something from the 10p box outside and minutes later be looking at rare first editions by Dickens and Darwin inside. It will have everything.
Well, except for me.
After nearly a decade an a half of stumbling through the fur coats in search of Turkish Delight and a lamp-post, I appear to have hit the back of the wardrobe. I shall not be taking the pilgrimage to Tunbridge Wells. You may now lament, a bit, those of you who are so inclined.
This blog will cease to be the blog of AHRB and will instead become the blog of Jonathan Kearns Rare Books & Curiosities.
“What do you know about running a book business?” I hear you scoff.
“Hopefully, just enough.” I respond, and adjust my flying goggles to a more rakish angle.
It is however a good question.
In a couple of weeks I’ll have a website, and I have a few shelves of books. I’ll be an Associate Member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, and hopefully the PBFA if they’ll have me, and alongside Anthony Smithson, I’m a Director of The York Antiquarian Book Seminar. People have set out on risky voyages with less. Plus, I have this map I bought off a very friendly chap with a wooden leg, last Chelsea Book Fair, he said there’s barely any danger to speak of!
So, part of my plan is to document this exploit, week by week between January and June 2015, rather in the manner of one of those people who records their exposure to a pandemic in a horror movie.
“Day three, the scaly, gooey stuff has progressed up my arm towards the shoulder, my thoughts increasingly turn to raw meat. The others have left, apparently there’s a group of survivors at Mercy Hospital, best I don’t follow. Anyone who finds this I, agh, oh it hurts! oh no! -grrrrghrglrawr! Brains!”
Like that, only with book-selling and lovely books.
Please feel free to join me. It’ll be interesting. Anyone wishing to sign up for my newsletter, put their name down for catalogues, sell me books or hand me elaborately constructed wants lists that will enable me to travel the earth in search of treasure…please drop me an email.