Wanted: Barefoot Bookseller for Luxury Desert island Resort

Applications are still open for what must be one of the most sought after jobs in the world: that of bookseller at a luxury desert island resort in the Maldives.

Chelsea-based Ultimate Library, which curates bespoke libraries for high end hotels and resorts, is looking for a ‘barefoot bookseller’ to run its bookshop on Baa Atol in the Maldives. Why barefoot? Because the ethos of the island is “no news, no shoes”, explains Alex McQueen, spokesperson for Ultimate Library. “We encourage guests to reconnect with the ground.” This is all about leaving the 21st century behind, albeit helped by a curated collection of classic and modern literature.

Ultimate Library was founded by Philip Blackwell, former CEO of the ‘family firm’, Blackwell’s booksellers of Oxford. It creates bespoke book collections and libraries for hotels, resorts, private residences and retail spaces.

Soneva Fushi, the luxury five-star resort, opened its first pop-up bookshop in 2018, curated by Ultimate Library. The ‘desert island bookseller’ story received much media coverage as a result, and has continued to do so with each new recruitment period. A handful of lucky individuals have run the bookshop for 12-month periods since 2018 and now the hunt is one for the next literary Robinson Crusoe to take up the challenge.

A spokesperson for the resort says: “The bookshop was created to reflect the stunning natural environment and intelligent luxury that Soneva Fushi provides. While most of us find that holidays are the only opportunity we get to read for pleasure, finding the perfect book that enhances your destination and opens your mind can be a challenge. Previous Barefoot Booksellers have provided guests with unforgettable literary experiences from writer’s workshops to personal reading consultations. We are interested to see what new ideas you can bring to the role!

“The ideal candidate will be a team player with a passion for books and the ability to engage with guests of all ages. They will have excellent written and verbal English skills; a lively tone of voice to write an entertaining blog that captures the exhilarating life of a desert island bookseller, and the skills to host workshops and other guest experiences. They must have the ability to fit in with the distinctive Soneva culture.”

The lucky individual will fly to the Maldives to join the Soneva Fushi team in early October for a twelve-month placement role. Get your application in now!