Last Sunday I spent a pleasant day in Topsham at the Exeter Book Fair – excellently managed by the ever capable Paul Davis, Kingsbridge Books. As always, the fair was a genteel, enjoyable affair, where I sold some books, brought some books (and a manuscript poem!) and met some lovely people, some of whom were even new to the fair and PBFA. Today was going to be an interview with Paul – but he got gazumped!
Sunday was Ian Marr’s birthday (although he refused to tell me how old he was). In celebration of this, and once he had imbibed a little lunchtime lubrication (he refused to go near the video before), I have made this interview with him.
Ian has had one of those rambling careers that seem to be a regular part of the bookseller’s life. Having begun his book career in Bonhams, and run away to Bavaria (perhaps it was the alliteration that sent him there), he settled down with Marlborough Rare Books in Bond Street until 2005, when he struck out on his own, blazing a trail into the Wild West of Cornwall.
Since then, Ian has been a regular figure at many of the PBFA Premier fairs, and at the ABA fairs. As Ian says “I do like a book, even a relatively ordinary one, that has some quality to it that lifts it into the category of historical artefact.” But enough of my commentary – take a look at his video interview below.
As well as being a marvellous chap, Ian has the distinction of being the only book dealer to have thrown a punch at me (so far – and although many have been tempted). He promises that this was merely a demonstration of technique – but you have to wonder!
Ian claims on his website that “Cornwall is really not as far as you think” – He may share Einstein’s views on distance, but promises he is only 20 minutes west of Plymouth. If you venture to the South West, be sure to pay him and Anne a visit.