Nigel Burwood of Any Amount of Books
On the way to the Chelsea Book Fair, AbeBooks' Victoria Chater met up with Nigel Burwood of Any Amount of Books. Burwood entered the world of bookselling in 1976 and now welcomes book lovers to visit his Charing Cross Road bookshop. Discover some of the treasures that can be found at Any Amount of Books and learn how Ronnie Corbett added to Nigel Burwoods adventure in bookselling.
Abe - Where are you located?
NB - "Charing Cross Road, that rather bookish corner of London that many people know and love!"
Abe - Do you have a bricks and mortar shop? Any staff?
NB - “Yes, we only have the 1 shop now, though we used to have 2 (one 2 doors down). We found that having just the 1 shop would be more profitable so we closed the other shop a few years back which, incidentally, is now a lovely (FINE) little coffee shop, so if we are feeling a bit nostalgic we can always pop up the road and have a coffee for old times sake!
We currently have a team of 6 full time staff and 6 part time staff working at the shop.
Abe - How (and when) did you become a rare bookseller?
NB - “I first came to bookselling in 1976.
After a short, unsuccessful career as a teacher, I decided to sell my own collection of books on Portobello Road it went very well, and things just developed from there."
The Less Deceived
by Philip Larkin
First Edition, First Issue
Abe - Do you specialise in any particular type of rare books?
NB - “Although I am a generalist, with everything from English to a few French, Russian and Swedish titles, I do tend more towards modern first editions, Art Books and older literature ”
Abe - What book about collecting books do you recommend?
NB - “I think I would probably recommend John Carter's, ABC for Book Collectors.
Everything you need to know about book collecting can be found in there.”
Abe - What’s the most expensive book you are offering for sale?
NB - “James Barries, Arthur Rackham illustrated, Peter Pan. A fine, signed limited edition from 1906 going for £5,500.”
Abe - What book do you regret selling too cheaply?
NB - “A fine Hound of the Baskervilles sold too quickly for £1,200, quite a while ago but it was the freshest copy I have ever seen and I sold it to a collector who saw me take it out of a box of books we had cleared from a bankrupt warehouse.”
Abe - Is there a rare book you have always craved to own?
NB - “1 Cent Life. (One Cent Life), by Walasse Ting a £2,000 book that I have sold 3 times, but cannot afford to keep myself unfortunately. ”
Abe - What is your most peculiar encounter during your bookselling career?
NB - “Selling Ronnie Corbett a car full of leather bound books for his Surrey Mansion buying 120,000 books on a chicken farm near Cambridge. It took 10 men and women 2 weeks to pack up and we had to buy 3000 card board boxes. ”