Wanted: barefoot bibliophile willing to punt Daniel Defoe to rich, modern-day Robinson Crusoes at a luxury desert island resort.
Philip Blackwell is recruiting for a Man Friday for possibly the world’s most remote bookshop, based in the luxury eco resort of Soneva Fushi in the Maldives.
“The pay is derisory but the fringe benefits unparalleled,” Blackwell said. “The role will evolve and it is in part up to you to make the most of this unique opportunity. It’s a dream job for many people. If I was 25 again I would do it.”
The successful applicant will be expected to sign up for a minimum of three months, during which time they must write “an entertaining and lively blog that captures the exhausting life of a desert island bookseller”. The job also holds the perks of mingling with A-list celebrities and their friends.
They should have “a passion for books, the ability to engage guests of all ages”, be able to entertain children with storytelling and host creative writing courses for guests.
“We want someone on the ground who is creative and inspiring and can maybe get more people to share the pleasure of reading, which is what people enjoy doing on holiday,” Blackwell said.
They will also live near the exclusive resort, which is described as lying “among dense foliage on beaches with sand as soft as snow,” within the Baa Atoll biosphere reserve.
“I’d imagine the nation’s hard-pressed booksellers might quite fancy a spell on a desert island, away from the woes of the high street; this is one gig Amazon can’t spoil,” said Neill Denny, joint editor of the industry journal BookBrunch, which first revealed the job opportunity. “It’s very much a niche in a niche, selling quality books to the super-rich, but they are starting to appreciate the discreet charm of a good book. And, of course, they have the money to pursue it, building entire libraries from scratch. This is a trend luxury cruise ships and high-end hotels are starting to tap into. Anyone can read anything on a Kindle but only a discerning few can afford a wall full of first editions.”
The shop will stock a mix of books that reflect the local environment, including the colourful marine life, as well as titles that reflect the interests of the wealthy tourists. “They are highly educated, enquiring people who want to relax and get away from things but also think a bit and better themselves,” Blackwell said.
“It’s a gap year project that’s still going on,” he joked. If it is a commercial success, he says he may consider opening more: “The Maldives is not over-endowed with bookshops.”
Recruiters love this COMPLETE set of Accredited Recruitment & HR Training – View Training Brochure