Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Bibliophile Granted Royal Warrant

Booksellers are often the unsung heroes of the book trade. They are the ones that engage with the consumer, entice them to buy and effectively provide the shop window to sell the books. Today all booksellers face challenging times and therefore it’s good when they get their recognition.

We are very proud that a Royal Warrant of Appointment has been granted to Annie Quigley of Bibliophile Limited into the place and quality of Booksellers to H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh, for whom they have been supplying books for over 20 years. A royal warrant is often referred to as a peerage for the trade and they are not given away freely but have to be earned by years of providing service and quality to the royal household and the purse of the Queen, Duke of Edinburgh or Prince Charles.

Bibliophile now joins the elite group of some 800 other warrant owners and only two other booksellers Hatchards of Piccadilly and G Heywood Hill. It is somewhat fitting that we now have a High Street book retailer, a specialist book dealer and a mail order book club and internet bargain book retailer. This clearly shows that the royal household like many other is eclectic in its taste and needs when it comes to books.

In 1992 on the death of her mentor and Bibliophile owner Bill Smith, Annie was given the unique opportunity to buy the highly acclaimed mail order book club. Some 19 years later she has developed the business into the largest independent book club in the UK with over 80,000 active members who buy from the mail-order catalogue and Internet

The Bibliophile mail order catalogue is a newspaper, full of personalised book reviews and published 10 times a year. Each month, her team selects, review and introduce over 350 new titles to add to the 3500 stocked inventory. Bibliophile despatch over 3.5 million books a year from their 5 miles of books.

Annie is not only the owner of Bibliophile, but also the buyer, editor and bookseller. Her passion for books came from her parents, Aileen Armitage and Deric Longden, who are both writers. Due to her mother Aileen’s blindness, at a young age Annie out of necessity learnt to proof read and edit. Aileen was voted Woman of the Year in 1988 for having written 34 novels although blind. Annie says: “I was born in a book!”

Annie has also brought public domain out of print titles back into print under the Bibliophile imprint for Print on Demand and has just published Deric Longdens’ Lost for Words and Diana’s Story as Bibliophile’s first ebook publications with many more being planned in the near future.

Read her book review blog at anniesbookreviewsforbibliophiles or on facebook

This Saturday, The Times will have a feature supplement ‘Raconteur’ on Royal Warrant holders and Bibliophile’s great achievement for booksellers.

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