Soneva Fushi are set to introduce the first ever pop-up bookshop to the shores of the Maldives on December 1st. In collaboration with Ultimate Library, the bookshop will feature a collection  of beach reads, literary classics and beautiful illustrated titles centred on art, culture and cookery. The collection will 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 first posted on Bookbrunch, a book recruitment site. With most people stuck behind their desks dreaming of tropical getaways, a slow week of news meant that the barefoot bookseller advert caught people’s imaginations and quickly went viral. The story has since been featured in global media outlets, such as Lonely PlanetCNNEsquireLa Repubblica9 Travel,  The Daily MailThe GuardianThe Evening Standard, The Telegraph and many more.




Ultimate Library were inundated with thousands of applications from 18 to 80 year olds, residing in over 40 different countries. Their professions have ranged from beat-poets, lawyers, photographers, film directors, international DJs, IT managers and even a few booksellers. The diversity of applicants proves that in our current uncertain times, the dream of a residency among books, sea, and sand is universally appealing.


Philip Blackwell, CEO of Ultimate Library said “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.”


Since the application process closed, the Ultimate Library team have been sifting through the hundreds of CV’s posted, emailed or even in hand-delivered to find the perfect candidate to take island life head on as a barefoot bookseller.


Soneva Fushi Barefoot Bookseller Job


The first candidate has been chosen and is now in training, the mystery blogger will be announced at the beginning of November before their departure to the island. Their term will start in December and end in March when a second bookseller will replace them and continue the story. We are currently in the process of interviewing for our second bookseller.


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