Friday, July 13, 2007

Apis Books, Adam and Architecture

I love our shop! The space is so flexible...

We had a great event in the shop last night. The event was organised by Apis Books and involved readings from all three contributors to their second book Two Tall Tales and One Short Novel.

Heidi James, Kay Sexton and Lucy Fry all read brilliantly - you can tell they are well practised at audience control/interaction and this should come as no surprise really. Tales of the DeCongested is a monthly short story reading event that takes place at Foyles on Charring Cross Road once a month. It takes real guts to stand up in front of a crowd and read and these three are all survivors of that gruelling process - more than that they were chosen as outstanding talents to have emerged from the readings.

The shop converts from bookshop to reading/event space with great ease. Both our tables are collapsible as are the window display units. We put chairs out, other folk can sit on the window seat (space created by the removal of the window display units). One table is used to serve drinks etc the other is covered in books.

After the reading I closed up, went home, watched the news and went to bed. Alarmed at 6:30 by our Finn I'm up again and into the shop at 9am to start clearing up. Outside the market traders are setting up their stalls, placing the barrows, balancing a variety of cardboard boxes etc to display their wares. Inside I am doing the same! The chairs are cleared away, window units back in place, tables moved and our wares displayed...I think all good architecture/design should work in harmony with the environment in which it is placed. In making our shop so that it resembles a mix between a market stall, a pub and a living room Adam has achieved this.

It all works very smoothly and is a pleasure to be in - fortunate as I spend a lot of my time here.

Adam deserves great credit I think for designing the shop (and building significant parts of it) It works so well as a space and it can sometimes be exhausting at events listening to folk who are visiting for the first time complimenting us on "what a lovely shop" "what a great space" "where did you get that wallpaper" style comments.

He's not one to blow his own trumpet so I'm doing it for him.

Well done mate.


  1. How well you describe the stage change between literary event and pleasant bookstore. For those of us too far away to attend the events, it is almost as nice just to hear about them.

  2. It was a lovely venue to read in, great acoustics and the audience seemed totally relaxed, as if they were in their own living rooms or a favourite pub. Thank you for inviting us along, and giving us such a great opportunity to interact with the reading public. I certainly loved every minute.

    Hugs all round, I think!


  3. What's the sound of someone blushing? Thanks back at ya.