Maldives: Luxury resort is looking for a bookseller

fdo you sometimes feel stressed? Overwhelmed by bad news? Do you dream of an exit strategy? We have an idea: sell books at a luxury resort in the Maldives. They are still looking for someone on Kunfunadhoo, a deserted island in the Indian Ocean. There, the Ultimate Library company, which offers curated libraries for hotels and individuals, opened a pop-up bookstore for Soneva resort guests in 2018. In October, a new job becomes available for a year. Prerequisites are a passion for books, in the best case work experience in the industry and not wearing shoes – “No shoes, no news” is the motto of the island. In return, there is free accommodation, free meals and a private beach.

Anna Vollmer

Editor in the “Germany and the World” department.

But the job is not entirely worldly. Because although reading the newspaper is frowned upon on Kunfunadhoo, this does not apply to a certain Internet presence. On the blog “The Barefoot Bookseller” and the Instagram account of the same name, the current booksellers report on their experiences on the island in text and pictures. You see a lot of blue, white beaches, beaming faces – scenes of everyday island life. If only a few book covers weren’t posted every now and then – you could almost think you’re dealing with an advertising brochure. In one of the photos, Georgie, who used to be a barefoot bookseller, is reading Sally Rooney’s “Beautiful world, where are you?” Didn’t Georgie find them long ago? The title “To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara is more appropriate. Although we know, of course, that the American writer is often anything but paradisiacal.

Romcom says hello

One sentence on the website is a little surprising: “Our search for the ‘Barefoot Booksellers’ has fired the imagination of the world over the past four years and has proven that even in uncertain times, the dream of a stay between books, sea and sand is still universally attractive.” Is it so surprising to dream of a new life on a desert island, especially in uncertain times? If you browse through the glossy photos, a romantic comedy is playing in front of your inner eye: a stressed-out city dweller finds what is really important in life in warmer climates. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

In fact, the job serves a certain cliché: that of books as escapism, relaxation and distraction from worries. Books are often exactly the opposite: a way of dealing with the world – including things that are distant or uncomfortable. It should therefore not be concealed that the book recommendations of the barefoot booksellers also deal with sustainability. Fly to the Maldives – but please don’t use plastic. Anyone who thinks of something better can apply now.