The application deadline is Sept. 30, so would-be booksellers better act fast.

By Jessica Poitevien
September 29, 2020
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A luxury resort in the Maldives is inviting literature lovers to spend six months on its sandy shores in exchange for running the property’s bookshop.

Soneva Fushi is an eco-resort and spa located on the Baa Atoll UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the Maldives. Known for its extravagant accommodations, including new overwater villas, Soneva Fushi reopened on Sept. 1 after closing for several months due to the pandemic.

Credit: Courtesy of Soneva Fushi

Now, the resort is also bringing back its popular “Barefoot Bookseller” program, which hires one lucky bibliophile to manage the property’s bookstore and document the experience on the shop’s blog and dedicated Instagram account. Other responsibilities include hosting experiences for Soneva guests such as creative writing classes, bibliotherapy sessions, and tutoring.

News of the renewed search for the next Barefoot Bookseller came via Instagram on Sept. 10. ″Fancy getting away from it all to sell books on a desert island in the Maldives? Are you passionate about reading, an excellent communicator, and love writing?″ the resort's Instagram caption read. ″If this sounds like you, then you'd be perfect for our Barefoot Bookseller 2020."

Credit: Courtesy of Soneva Fushi

Bookseller hopefuls should fill out the online application by the Sept. 30 deadline. Interviews will be held remotely. The chosen candidate will receive their training remotely before heading to the Maldives for the mid-October opening of the bookshop.

Soneva Fushi partnered with UK-based book collection and library provider Ultimate Library to open the Maldives' first pop-up bookshop in 2018, reports Insider. That year, the resort hired its first Barefoot Bookseller to run the shop and has hired new people for the position ever since.

According to the Barefoot Bookseller website, the resort received hundreds of responses during its first round of applications. The second round saw thousands of applicants from around the world, and this next application season will likely see even more.

For a glimpse of what life was like for previous Barefoot Booksellers, check out the bookshop’s blog and Instagram.