Maldives bookseller advert 'overwhelmed' by applications

Maldives bookseller advert 'overwhelmed' by applications

A company advertising for a bookseller in a luxury resort in the Maldives has admitted being “overwhelmed” by applicants since the job ad went viral.

Philip Blackwell, founder of the Ultimate Library company, said the firm had received thousands of CVs in just over a week since the role was advertised.

The post is based in the luxury eco resort of Soneva Fushi and the advert said the successful applicant also had to be able to write a blog about the life of a desert island bookseller, entertain children with storytelling, and host creative writing courses, as well as sell books.

“We have had applicants from 18 to 83 years-old apply," Blackwell told The Bookseller. "There have been TV directors, someone from the White House press team, journalists, people from Playboy, a German Viscount, a Syrian refugee, a juggler, literary agents, a 72-year-old ‘Beach Poet’ – actually remarkably few booksellers. The applications themselves have ranged from YouTube clips, people sending pictures in not wearing very much, people holding signs, there have been some very creative people apply.

“I think the job grabbed people’s attention at a quiet news time, perhaps when they were dreaming about going on holiday. It has been picked up in the press all around the world, from the US, Mexico, Portugal, Italy - this morning there was a piece on the radio station in Perth (Australia). Unfortunately following the volume of interest, we have now closed the position for applications.”

He added: “It has been entertaining but there has been a cost – we are a small company of 17 people and the interest nearly overwhelmed all our systems.”

Blackwell said 15 candidates had now been shortlisted for the role and the decision about who to appoint would be made very shortly, within two weeks.

The Ultimate Library was founded in 2007 to improve hotels’ book collections by creating bespoke collections of titles, and works with hotel groups such as Rocco Forte Hotels, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, J W Marriott and Jumeirah.

Blackwell, a descendant of the Blackwell bookselling family, said the Ultimate Library was a small business but currently growing rapidly, with revenue up between 40-60% year-on-year over the last four years.

The shop in the Maldives will stock a mix of books that reflect the local environment, as well as some that reflect the interests of wealthy tourists.