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Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller

Oliver Darkshire


ISBN: 9781529177121
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  • Regular price $15.00

Welcome to Sotheran's, one of the oldest bookshops in the world, with its weird and wonderful clientele, suspicious cupboards, unlabelled keys, poisoned books and some things that aren't even books, presided over by one deeply eccentric apprentice. Some years ago, Oliver Darkshire stepped into the hushed interior of Henry Sotheran Ltd on Sackville Street (est. 1761) to interview for a job.

Allured by the smell of old books and the temptation of a management-approved afternoon nap, he was soon balancing teetering stacks of first editions, fending off nonagenarian widows and trying not to upset the store's resident ghost (the late Mr Sotheran, hit by a tram). Darkshire came to love Sotheran's, not just for its illustrious history (or for producing the most cursed book of all time), but also its joyous disorganization and the unspoken rules of its gleefully old-fashioned staff, whose mere glance may cause a computer to burst into flames. By turns unhinged and earnestly dog-eared, Once Upon a Tome is the rather colourful story of life in one of the world's oldest bookshops and a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling.