A memoir of life in the antiquarian book trade, in London, England, and, in keeping with Kociejowski’s travel writing, a journey through people’s lives. Beginning with his childhood in rural Ontario, where at the annual village jumble sale he would buy books not so much for their content as for their tactile qualities, and from there to Ottawa, where he first learned books can have a value, and from there to England, where he fell into the book trade almost by accident, A Factotum in the Book Trade is an elegy for a floating world on the cusp of disappearance.
Praise for Marius Kociejowski
“Kociejowski draws on all the aspects of his life in these engaging, idiosyncratic personal essays … [that] proffer the reader equal measures of autobiography, insight and quirky charm.” —Michael Dirda, Washington Post
“Here the charm is deep, the splendour unlaboured; the colours of history, reckoned afresh, saturate singular people, in whom passion is lucid again…here is one who collects his extraordinary resources, and strides.”—Christopher Middleton
“It is a testament to the power of this superb book that I felt not despondency, but … elation.”—Adam Thorpe, Times Literary Supplement
“Treasures are revealed … with a formidable erudition, and at their best they gleam with an enameled splendour.”—Ken Babstock, Globe and Mail
“Kociejowski writes beautifully … unusual, poetic, and thought-provoking.”—Library Journal