Maldives’ first Book Tuk Tuk to debut at JLF Soneva Fushi literature festival this week

Soneva Fushi has welcomed the Maldives’ first Book Tuk Tuk to the shores of the Baa Atoll to bring the expertise of the Barefoot Bookseller and the joy of reading straight to guests, wherever they are on the island. From any of the resort’s multiple dining destinations to the comfort of an in-villa sun lounger, guests can call their Barefoot Butlers and have the Book Tuk Tuk brought straight to their door.

The Book Tuk Tuk will make its official debut at the upcoming JLF Soneva Fushi, the ‘greatest literary show on Earth’. Held across 10 days and two weekends, from May 13 to 22, 2022, JLF Soneva Fushi will welcome 30 world-renowned speakers and authors for a vibrant celebration of the arts, culture and performance. Throughout the inspiring festival, many of the visiting authors’ award-winning books will be on display and available to purchase from the Book Tuk Tuk.

Following the festival, the Book Tuk Tuk will house a general collection featuring the very best and most apt titles in Soneva Fushi’s Barefoot Bookshop, with specially themed collections set to follow throughout the year. Carefully curated by the Ultimate Library, the creators of bespoke book collections for hospitality, the island’s bookshop is tailored to underline Soneva’s values and sustainable ethos, celebrate the local culture and reflect the diverse tastes of its sophisticated, cultured guests from across the world.

Taking the wheel of the Book Tuk Tuk is experienced bookseller Georgie Polhill, who recently took up the mantle of Barefoot Bookseller at Soneva Fushi. On sabbatical from Heywood Hill, booksellers to the British Royal Family, Georgie masterfully compiles a tailored book selection for guests staying at Soneva Fushi to browse during her shelf discovery sessions. Armed with a wealth of knowledge, Georgie also hosts creative writing classes, bibliotherapy, academic tutoring for children and teens aged 9 to 18, literary lectures, as well as other events at the island’s pop-up bookshop.

“At Soneva, we are always looking at ways to enhance our guests’ experiences, whether that has been by introducing sliding roofs that open up the sky to the master bedroom, adding slides to water villas for direct sea access or our complimentary ice cream and chocolate parlours,” says Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and Co-founder of Soneva. “Now, we are bringing guests the Maldives’ first book Tuk Tuk to share in our love of literature and further embrace the Slow Life, too.”

“The Book Tuk Tuk is a fun and inventive way to get great books into the hands of travellers at the greatest point of need. And for them to re-engage with the joy of reading for pleasure; one of the key memorable holiday experiences. It brings a whole new dimension to beach reading,” says Philip Blackwell, founder of Ultimate Library.

Founded in 1995, Soneva is an award-winning sustainable luxury resorts operator. At Soneva Fushi, Soneva Jani and Soneva in Aqua in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand, true ‘luxury’ is defined by peace, time and space. Each day, guests are encouraged to discover the SLOW LIFE, reconnecting with themselves and the natural world through rare, unforgettable experiences that inspire and enthral.

Soneva is a pioneer for responsible tourism, combining a conscientious, proactive approach to sustainability with exquisite luxury and intuitive personalised service. Carbon neutral since 2012, Soneva launched its Total Impact Assessment in 2016, a first for the hospitality industry, measuring its social and environmental impacts. A mandatory 2% environmental levy is added to every Soneva stay, with proceeds going towards the not-for-profit Soneva Foundation to offset both direct and indirect carbon emissions from resort activities and guest flights. The Foundation funds a range of global projects that have a positive environmental, social and economic impact.

Ultimate Library provides bespoke book collections for hotels, resorts, private residences and retail/commercial spaces. Founded by book expert, Philip Blackwell, the company is committed to providing books that inspire, educate and entertain. For this reason, every library is carefully tailored to the needs of the particular property as well as its specific location – books are at the heart of everything we do.

Ultimate Library has a small but dedicated team of frequent travellers and passionate bibliophiles, who understand that reading is an integral part of enhancing our daily lives. Whether its fiction, biographies, or coffee table books that you’re looking for, our experts have all of your literary needs covered. We are the book experts, so you don’t have to be.

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