Once Upon a Tome: The Misadventures of a Rare Bookseller (Hardcover)
An antiquarian bookseller divulges the secrets of the trade and the peculiarities of life in one of the world’s oldest bookstores.
One morning, Oliver Darkshire stepped into the hushed interior of Henry Sotheran Ltd. in London to interview for what he thought would be a year-long bookselling apprenticeship. Captivated by the smell of old books and the temptation of a management-approved afternoon nap, Darkshire was soon unteetering stacks of first editions and fending off overeager collectors while placating the store’s resident ghost (the late Mr. Sotheran, hit by a tram). By turns unhinged and earnest, Once Upon a Tome is a hilarious coming-of-age story that brings us into a strange and fascinating profession.
Darkshire describes Sotheran’s customs and customers and shares delicious trivia about ancient editions and the dark art of selling old things to the curious characters that covet them. A love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling, Once Upon a Tome is the colorful story of working at a hallowed bookshop, where to be uncommon or strange is the best possible compliment.
About the Author
Oliver Darkshire is an antiquarian bookseller at Henry Sotheran Ltd. He lives in Manchester, England, with his husband and his neglectfully curated collection of books.
Darkshire is an exciting new voice brimming with self-effacing charm. If you consider yourself a book aficionado, this is your Coachella.
— Caitlin Doughty, best-selling author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
An enchanting billet-doux to an arcane and eccentric world. Every page is a pleasure.
— Lindsey Fitzharris, best-selling author of The Facemaker
Peculiarly hilarious and/or hilariously peculiar!
— William Gibson, award winning author of Neuromancer and Burning Chrome, winner of Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novel
— Tom Holland, best-selling author of Rubicon and Dominion and cohost of The Rest is History