Day out at Blackwell’s

Posted on 27/06/2019

Catherine, Caroline, Sally and Carrie had an inspiring day out at Blackwell´s book shop on Friday 21st July. The tour started in the beautifully restored Gaffer´s office named after Sir Basil Blackwell (son of the original founder), the first bookseller to be knighted. Zool Verjee and David Kelly, the sales development and sales managers talked us through the history of the shop and introduced us to their impressive team of passionate booksellers including key fiction buyer, Ray Mattinson, who clearly has the ability to hand sell many 100s of copies of the books he loves, a lot of them translated fiction, and Zoe Chatfield who curates the non-fiction displays in the Norrington Room.

The Shop Manager, Rebecca Macalister gave us a tour of the establishment, through non-fiction, fiction and the thriving children´s department, ending up in the classics section where we were shown an extraordinary collection of first editions, including a leather-bound marriage guidance volume dating from 1270 (pictured below) and the first ex-Iberian edition of Cervantes Don Quixote worth circa £ 90,000! We had a hugely informative and fun day out, and felt privileged to have such an impressive and thriving bookseller just down the road.