THE future of Rye’s Martello Bookshop has been secured.
Wendy and Terry Harvey, who run the shop, in Rye High Street, were planning to retire but are now set to continue running the shop after a buyer dropped out.
It is good news at a time when independent bookshops are in decline across Sussex.
The shop will remain open but with reduced hours.
Wendy Harvey said: “Independent bookshops are a dying breed.
“Terry and I had plans for our retirement with Martin Bradshaw taking it over from July 1, but he dropped out last Thursday and we have had to make other arrangements.
“Terry and I will continue to own Martello Bookshop and our daughter, Jane, who works part time at the moment will be working full time with Terry and me making occasional appearances.
“It will be open five days a week, from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive, rather than the seven day week at the moment, but we do plan to open for bank holidays.
“We are extending our secondhand section of books, and also bargain books, but will continue to keep the varied selection of new books, both fact and fiction, maps and extend our ranges of cards.
“We also have a tea, coffee and hot chocolate machine at the back of the shop where customers can browse and read the latest literary reviews, and our popular readers group will continue. It is National Reading Group Day on June 30 - what should have been our last day in Martello Bookshop, and I have invited several authors to join us for tea in the bookshop on that afternoon.
“We are going ahead with this event, and are still treating this day as our retirement day and will celebrate it in style!
Jane Gardam, Dave McKean, Frank Barnard, Jane Struthers and poet Ric Hool have all been invited.
“It should be a most entertaining event, and we hope that customers, both old and new, will help us celebrate National Reading Group Day in Rye. Martello Books is well known for its support of local authors and often holds book signings.
Well known patrons have included Spike Milligan and Captain Pugwash creator John Ryan.
It also supports Rye Festival.