Bob Johnston, owner of The Gutter Bookshop, has won The O'Brien Press Bookseller of the Year Award in Ireland for his “immense” commitment to bookselling.
Johnston was announced as the winner at the Booksellers Association’s (BA) Irish conference and dinner dance at the Gibson Hotel in Dublin over the weekend.
Johnston is also chairman of the Irish branch of the BA.
Ivan O'Brien, managing director of The O'Brien Press, said: “Bob set up The Gutter Bookshop in the height of the recession, and it's now firmly established as a core part of Dublin's book world. His commitment to bookselling is immense, and through his social media presence and regular appearances on TV and radio he has become one of the leading voices for books in Ireland.”
O’Brien added: “He also hosts vast numbers of launches and seems to sell books at just about every festival. To top all that, he's on the committees of the BA, Irish Book Awards and others – quite amazing. His energy, enthusiasm and constant innovation are a lesson to us all. Congratulations Bob, it's richly deserved.”
Johnson has worked in the book trade for 25 years. He opened The Gutter Bookshop, in Temple Bar in 2009 and has also worked for Waterstones in London and Dublin and as a buyer for Hughes and Hughes in Stephen's Green. In 2013, Johnston opened his second branch of The Gutter Bookshop in Dalkey.
Johnston said: “Thank you to The O'Brien Press for supporting this award and thank you to the publishers and other booksellers who nominated me. And a huge thank you to all our customers and supporters who allow me to make a living doing what I love - by coming and buying books from us!”