With a barefoot bookseller, Soneva Fushi to open Maldives’ first pop-up bookshop

Soneva Fushi is set to introduce the first ever pop-up bookshop to the shores of the Maldives.

Run by Ultimate Library, the bookshop will open on December 1, and will feature a collection of stunning illustrated tomes focusing on art, design, style and haute cuisine. The collection will also include books that resonate with the energy and beauty of the Indian Ocean, its history, marine life and the natural environment.

The innovative idea caught headlines around the world when the search for a barefoot bookseller was posted on Bookbrunch, a niche book recruitment site. With most people stuck behind their desks dreaming of tropical getaways, a slow week for news saw the barefoot bookseller advert cut through the noise and go viral. The story has since been republished across global media, including Lonely Planet, CNN, Vanity Fair, La Repubblica (IT), 9 Travel (AU), The Daily Mail, The Guardian and The Telegraph.

Ultimate Library has been inundated with over 1,000 applications from 18-year-olds to 80-year-olds residing in over 40 different countries. Their professions have ranged from beat-poets, lawyers, photographers, film directors, national DJs, a member of the White House press corp and even a few booksellers. The diversity of applicants proves that in our current uncertain times, the dream of a residency amongst books, sea, and sand is universally appealing.

“We were seeking special individuals who share our passion for books and reading. Who in addition can bring books and writing ‘alive’ through reading groups, creative writing and bibliotherapy sessions; hosting celebrity writers and chefs and hand-selling books onsite,” Ultimate Library CEO Philip Blackwell was quoted in a statement, as saying.

The deadline for applications has now closed and candidates are being shortlisted with the lucky barefoot booksellers to be announced within the next two months.

Anyone can join the community of island loving readers, and follow the adventures of the barefoot bookseller on Instagram and Twitter as well as through a dedicated blog and newsletter.

Ultimate Library is the world’s leading supplier of bespoke book libraries for hotels, resorts and private residences. Their book collections can be found in many of the luxury hotels and resorts across the Maldives.

Established in 1995, Soneva Fushi is the original Soneva. The No News, No Shoes blueprint for all desert island barefoot luxury hideaways is located within the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Soneva Fushi inspires the imagination with 65 spacious beachfront villas, ranging in size from one to nine bedrooms, hidden amongst dense foliage.

The iconic resort has bagged several international awards for eco-friendly tourism and green initiatives, including the 2017 Green Hotelier Award for the Asia Pacific region and the Sustainable Hotel Award by the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP) as well as a spot in the Gold List compiled by Condé Nast Traveler China as the Best Hotel in the Maldives and amongst the best resorts in the world in the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.

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