Generally booksellers are a diverse bunch, and we here at Dulwich Books are no exception, with artists, illustrators, musicians, poets and nerds. (Reader, I am that nerd. Please try to contain your shock.)
We hail from all over, having served behind the counter at big chain bookstores, other tiny indies, second hand booksellers, children’s bookshops, the list goes on. A real bookseller is for life, not just for Christmas. And we all love books. Love them. Honestly, it’s almost a problem. We live them, breathe them, work with them, tweet about them, review them, fill our houses with them, and at the end of the day we run two book clubs just so we can talk to people about books a little bit more. We are passionately, enthusiastically, joyfully, a little bit weird about reading. Watch for the giddy glint in the eye next time you ask your bookseller for a recommendation.
And we know a winner when we read it. In 2013, we were honoured to host events with two Man Booker shortlisted authors. Philip snagged A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton in publisher advance proofs, was struck straight away by their sheer brilliance and contacted the authors to come to the shop for events LONG before Man Booker got their foot in the door… He recently picked the Goldsmith’s Prize Winner, A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing as his top recommendation before the prize was announced. If he was a betting man, he would retire by now. Eyes open to see if he does as well with next year’s picks.
Watch some of our Books Are My Bag Day fun!
Welcome to our Rogue’s Gallery, a quick introduction to the faces and brains that will meet you when you come searching for your next read at Dulwich Books.
Describing the boss, let us tread carefully…owner of Dulwich Books these past 11 years and for six years before that the owner of the Beckenham Bookshop, just over the hill (n.b. – Beckenham and not Sheila (this joke is her husband’s, not mine!).She is the quintessential independent bookseller. She’s steered Dulwich Books through its 30th anniversary and two years of being voted London’s Best Independent Bookshop. The Bookselling Force Is Strong With This One. You can ask her advice about almost any book, but especially if you want some crime to keep you up past your bedtime.
Do any of you really need introducing to Philip? Probably not, because he’s been here forever (he made jokes about his age, but I will refrain…) But let’s spend a moment anyway, contemplating the Godfather of Dulwich Bookselling. He went to art school, which we won’t dwell on, and these days only stops reading long enough to paint. And when he paints? It’s about books. (He only just realised that.) It is always worth stopping him in the shop to ask what he’s reading, he is constantly searching out the unique, surprising and wonderful. He’s even on twitter @philipmaltman
Keep a beady eye open outside the shop and you might spot Annie either in the background of your TV in her role as an extra, or otherwise up to her elbows in the addictive smell and feel of secondhand books at a fair or bookstall. If you keep a beady eye open inside the shop, you’ll probably find her running our lovely children’s department and holding storytime, sharing the picture books she is so passionate about, so much so that she spends whatever is left of her spare time writing and illustrating her own.
Organisational powerhouse, and our go to for non-fiction, Dave sorts out most of our events and PR(he’s got TONS of experience with it, and it shows). Media writing, PR and events management… but fear not, he’s far more interesting than that all might imply. When not at work (and sometimes at work, if we are honest) he likes to turn his music up to eleven, and if you spot him in the street, it’s unlikely he will be without headphones. He likes politics, history, and any holiday in which creepy skulls can be used for decoration (so, Halloween, mostly). Tell him what you think @fauldsd
A once and future bookseller with a chequered past. (Science degrees, very disreputable.) Spends her days hoarding books about dragons and notebooks she will never fill. Ravenclaw. Is sometimes forced to describe herself in third person and finds this uncomfortable. Was once woken by the bookcase containing her to-read pile, as it toppled into her bed in the middle of the night. This near death experience has not made her reconsider her life choices.