Business Tourism

White House press officer joins race for bookshop job in the Maldives

Soneva Fushi

A long way from the West Wing … the Six Senses Soneva Fushi resort on Kunfunadhoo Island.
Photograph: Alamy

Huge response reported after retailer in the luxury resort of Soneva Fushi advertised for a ‘barefoot bookseller’, with some very unexpected applicants.

Thousands of disgruntled office workers – including a member of the White House press team – have applied to run a pop-up bookshop in the Maldives after an advertisement for the position went viral last week.

Philip Blackwell, whose family sold their eponymous bookshop chain in 2006, announced last week that he was looking for a “barefoot bookseller” to run a shop in the luxury resort of Soneva Fushi. According to Blackwell, “the pay is derisory but the fringe benefits unparalleled”.

His company Ultimate Library, which provides library collections for holiday destinations around the world, has now closed the position to new applicants after receiving “thousands” of CVs from would-be booksellers.

“It’s been a bit like standing under a fire hydrant for the last week – we’ve had an extraordinary response,” said Blackwell. Applications have been received from 40 different countries, he said, with applicants aged between 18 and 83, whose current jobs range from banking to poetry, biology to surfing – and one individual working for the White House press team.

“We’ve even had the odd actual bookseller,” Blackwell said. “I think people have been at their desks dreaming of sun, sea and sand, and suddenly there’s this opportunity to have it for longer than a week.” The position will be held for three months, and then a new barefoot bookseller will take over.

Blackwell and his team have now whittled the applications down, and are sifting through them to come up with a shortlist of 15 for an interview. A decision will be made this month.

“I think we will hire someone for their potential, rather than necessarily their experience,” Blackwell said. “This is very much a take it to the people kind of job.”

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Source URL: Google News

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