The heart and soul of the book trade reside in the enchanting realms of a bookshop. It is a sacred space where the true essence of human nature unfolds. Within those walls, books hold the power to evoke our deepest desires, making them magnetic forces in our lives. In his captivating memoir, “A Factotum in the Book Trade,” Marius Kociejowski takes us on an extraordinary journey filled with serendipitous encounters and delightful collisions of fate as he navigates the shelves, the bustling counters, the overflowing basements, and the towering attic stacks of a beloved neighborhood bookshop. From his idyllic upbringing in rural Ontario, where he fell in love with poetry volumes for their tactile pebbled-leather covers, to his accidental entanglement in the trade in London, Kociejowski brings to life a cast of characters, both real and fictional, that inhabit the world of books. This mesmerizing tale catalogues their passions, peculiarities, and pleasures, weaving together a rich tapestry of friendship, feuds, losses, and elations that define the business of books—and ultimately, shape an unforgettable life.
Praise for “A Factotum in the Book Trade”
“Dwight Garner from the New York Times perfectly sums up the appeal of ‘A Factotum in the Book Trade’—it is exceptionally well-written, intimately connected to the world of books, and a captivating account of a life lived with both contentment and occasional grumpiness. Everything a memoir should be.”
—Dwight Garner, New York Times
“The New Yorker describes ‘A Factotum in the Book Trade’ as a representative slice of the rich and partly vanished world of bookselling, beautifully capturing its essence.”
—The New Yorker
“In his work, ‘A Factotum in the Book Trade,’ Marius Kociejowski demonstrates a prose style that revels in the unexpected combinations found within these sacred spaces. He effortlessly delves into the joys that bookstores offer both readers and booksellers alike, while skillfully sketching the eclectic personalities he has encountered throughout his illustrious career.”
—Literary Review of Canada
“The Wall Street Journal praises ‘A Factotum in the Book Trade’ for its dizzying diversity of authors and books, which create sparks of insight through their collisions. Kociejowski’s memoir effortlessly combines concise assessments of literary greats, such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Emily Dickinson, and J.L. Carr, with charming footnotes that enhance the digressive charm of the narrative.”
—The Wall Street Journal
“The Ottawa Review of Books hails ‘A Factotum in the Book Trade’ as an extraordinary work that deepens readers’ appreciation for the profound role that books play in our lives. This memoir is a testament to the magic that lies within every book.”
—Ottawa Review of Books
‘Globe and Mail’ describes ‘A Factotum in the Book Trade’ as cranky, obscure, charming, and illuminating, encapsulating the essence of a used bookstore through its delightful prose.
—Globe and Mail
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Marius Kociejowski: The Master of Words
“Kociejowski’s engaging and idiosyncratic personal essays draw on all aspects of his rich life. The Washington Post praises his ability to seamlessly weave autobiography, insight, and quirky charm into his writings, making them truly remarkable.”
—Michael Dirda, Washington Post
“Christopher Middleton eloquently expresses the charm and splendor that permeate Kociejowski’s work. His essays bring history vividly to life, breathing passion and lucidity into extraordinary individuals. Kociejowski’s ability to collect and harness his remarkable resources shines through every word.”
“Adam Thorpe from the Times Literary Supplement reveals the power of Kociejowski’s superb book, where rather than feeling despondent, readers are left with a sense of elation.”
—Adam Thorpe, Times Literary Supplement
“Ken Babstock of Globe and Mail states that Kociejowski’s beautifully written prose unveils treasures hidden within its pages. With remarkable erudition, his words gleam with an enameled splendor.”
—Ken Babstock, Globe and Mail
“In his thought-provoking work, Kociejowski’s writing unfolds with unusual elegance and poetic flair, leaving a lasting impact on readers.”
Discover the captivating world of Marius Kociejowski’s writing and embark on a journey like no other. Visit Ratingperson for more captivating literary content.
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