The object of this blog is to be interesting, informative and amusing about books and authors as well as telling something of the life of a bookseller in a small French town.
I also aim to provide information about the town itself with some details of the other shops in the Cité de l’Ecrit and things of interest in and around the town itself.
A second-hand book dealer for over 20 years, I worked in London in publishing for 20 years before moving to Yorkshire to do other things: I worked in the printing industry and I also ran a second-hand bookshop in Hebden Bridge.
I have been selling books through the internet for nearly 20 years now.
My own site www.theglasskey.co.uk
is currently under reconstruction, but our books can be found on
Biblio, Abebooks, Amazon and Antiqbook as well as in my shop.
In 2008 I moved to Montmorillon in France. Montmorillon, situated between Poitiers to the north and Limoges to the south, is in the Vienne department of what is now La Nouvelle Aquitaine. Montmorillon is a book town and based its development on the concepts of the world’s first book town, Hay-on-Wye.
Reaching its twentieth year in 2020 Montmorillon has developed in a medieval part of the town to become the Cité de l’Écrit et des Métiers du Livre. Currently there are around a dozen French second-hand booksellers, calligraphers, book binders and paper restorers who have shops in this part of the town and one bookshop selling books in both English and French – The Glass Key.
I live above the shop at 7 rue de la Poelerie with my cat Chairman Miaow who loves being in the shop and demanding attention from all visitors – customers or browsers.
Recently I have established a partnership with Myriam Poitevin who creates artistic picture framings that can be seen on this blog and can be bought either through the post or directly from the shop.
Myriam is also helping improve the overall ambience of the shop and enlarging the section of books in French.
Together we are developing a new section of the shop to be devoted to nature, ecology, and the lifestyles they inspire. This section will be offering a choice of new books on these subjects.
Together we are also planning to host more events in the shop – readings, book launches with authors and illustrators, anything that might bring people with an interest in books and in reading together in a convivial and relaxed atmosphere.
James Fraser and Myriam Poitevin, April 2020