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Bookstore wanted to work in paradise

The last time the Soneva Fushi resort published a job offer for its library in Maldives, they received thousands of applications. Film directors, IT chiefs and lawyers showed up, drawn by the opportunity to work in a true paradise: an atoll of palm trees and white sand surrounded by a turquoise sea. Now, after the previous person in charge of the establishment left her post in April, the place has been vacated.

“The Maldives is an almost covid-free zone and the resort we manage has its own medical center and strict and rigorous testing procedures, so it is a very safe place,” says Philip Blackwell, CEO of Ultimate Library. , responsible for the bookstore in the atoll, interviewed by The Guardian.

They offer a position from the end of October until after Easter 2021 and are looking for someone who has experience selling books. Candidates “have to worship people and sell books, and they have to understand books,” says Blackwell. “They also have to be adventurous because this job is not for someone who wants to sit in a bookstore for eight hours, but for someone who likes to get out of it, interact with guests and help people on their journey as a reader. Because reading for pleasure is a muscle that, like any other in the body, is not used until people go on vacation. ”

In addition to open aptitude, it requires a written and spoken command of English, writing with a lively tone blogs and newsletters tell the “exciting life” of a bookseller on a desert island and know how to organize workshops and events. This was the case of a former White House press officer, who took up the post in 2018.

The previous bookseller, British Chrissy Ryan, had to leave the post in April, a few weeks before her contract ended, in light of the pandemic. On her blog, Barefoot Bookseller (“Barefoot Librera”), remembers with emotion the time that has passed in Maldives. “One of the wonders of living an adventure is that it is always accompanied by learning. And that is why, I think, we like adventurer stories so much. Mine in the Maldives has not been an exception. (…) Living in Such a remote place, without access to online shopping or the latest posh trends or the comforts that one takes for granted has led me to reconsider what I value the most and has taught me that your human environment is, indeed, what more important”.

The salary that the next barefoot bookseller will receive has not been revealed, but this sentence may compensate for that small detail: “They will have sand between their toes, instead of sleet on their feet, and the opportunity to test themselves,” he says. the head of the company.