Tim - Experience
Tim has spent over 25 years in the second-hand and antiquarian book trade, and before opening his first shop he worked in some of the legendary and iconic centres of the British book trade, such as Charing Cross Road and Hay on Wye, the ‘Town of Books’. Having always enjoyed reading, his interest in old books really began while studying for an English degree, where any spare time was spent combing the local second-hand book shops for interesting and unusual items.
After leaving university Tim’s first experience of working with antiquarian books was at Thomas Thorp, the famous and long-standing family book shop in Guildford High Street, where ancient typewriters were still in use and even more ancient aunts were the order of the day. Valuable experience was gained here, and spells at Quinto in the Charing Cross Road and The Cinema Bookshop in Hay furthered his knowledge, enabling Tim to open his own premises in Dorking at the age of 25.
Over a period of 13 years all aspects of running a second-hand and antiquarian book shop were experienced, from purchasing single volumes to entire libraries, arranging the rebinding of books, providing open market valuations to dealing with eccentric customers, who wanted nothing more than a good chat! A very wide range of books was stocked, from academic paperbacks to rare and unique books, such as the seventeenth century book on ornate Italian carriages which had been inscribed by the architect Nicholas Hawksmoor at the house of Sir Christopher Wren in 1697.
Tim now concentrates on selling at book fairs and online, where physical books are still much in demand despite pressures from new virtual alternatives such as ebooks. Tim said recently: ‘I find it immensely reassuring that so many people, including the young, still find that there really is no substitute for handling a book. And long may that continue!’
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