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  • Writer's pictureBarefoot Bookseller

Are you Soneva Jani's next Barefoot Bookseller?

Good news! We are now accepting applications for a new Barefoot Bookseller at Soneva Jani Resort, deadline Monday 15th July. Bookselling experience is essential.

Ultimate Library in partnership with Soneva Fushi, a 5-star luxury resort in the Baa Atoll, opened the first Barefoot Bookshop in December 2019 to worldwide acclaim, followed by a second at Soneva Jani in 2020. With Soneva best-loved for its Robinson Crusoe-style laidback luxury, these pop-up bookshops offer barefoot bookselling, in one of the most beautiful places in the world.


The bookshop was created to reflect the stunning natural environment and intelligent luxury that Soneva Fushi and Soneva Jani provide. While most of us find that holidays are the only opportunity we get to read for pleasure, finding the perfect book that enhances your destination and opens your mind can be a challenge. The Barefoot Booksellers provide guests with unforgettable literary experiences from writer’s workshops to personal reading consultations. ​


The new Soneva Jani Barefoot Bookseller will have a month’s pre-departure product training with the Ultimate Library team, prior to flying to the Maldives to join the Soneva team. They will be a team player with a passion for books and the ability to engage with guests of all ages. They will have excellent written and verbal English skills (and preferably Chinese/Russian/both), a lively tone of voice to write entertaining content that captures the exhilarating life of a desert island bookseller, and the skills to host workshops and other guest experiences. The Bookseller must have the ability to fit in with the distinctive Soneva culture.


‘The Barefoot Bookseller has become an integral part of the Soneva guest experience, providing much, much more than reading recommendations.’

– Sonu Shivdasani, Founder and CEO of Soneva.


Key Responsibilities:


  • Day to day running of a small the bookshop including sales management, engaging with guests & hosts

  • All stock management and reporting back on sales & stock updates

  • Hosting experiences for Soneva guests such as creative writing classes, bibliotherapy, tutoring (Ages 9-18) and literary lectures.

  • Running the Barefoot Bookseller social media presence, including Instagram

  • Liaising with Ultimate Library & Soneva marketing teams on potential events and collaborations, including authors from the Soneva Stars programme and the Soneva SOUL festival.

  • Taking orders for remote delivery to guest’s homes or villas

  • Outbound liaison with the Kid’s Club for readings and events (WBD)

  • Liaising with the spa team to build reading into the wellness agenda

  • Monitoring hospitality news feeds in the Maldives

  • Following up on Ultimate Library projects with other resorts

  • Raising awareness of the Barefoot Bookshop through the following channels:

    • Instagram posts on @barefootbooksellers

    • Content for Soneva channels, including website, newsletter, MPS, SLOW LIFE

    • Travel & Tourism newsletters

  • Develop and trial a range of guest engagement services including:

    • Host training – in languages and cultures, life skills, reading groups

    • CSR out-reach  to local islands and schools - education, setting up libraries, World BD

    • Tutorials to guest families

    • Shelf discovery sessions via the spa

    • Creative writing sessions

    • Working to identify opportunities for better book collections in Villas, Libraries and the Den

    • Creative ways to promote reading for pleasure in the resorts

  • Guest engagement training on Soneva & new client resorts locally – there maybe 2-3 openings in the year – this will involve spending a day preparing then delivering the training on site – the client resort will arrange transport and if necessary, accommodation on site

  • Conversations with Ultimate Library clients in the Maldives to draw stock from the bookshop for collection top-ups. And the Bookshop-in-a-Box offer

Required Skills and Experience:

  • A (preferably academic) degree 

  • Experience in bookselling/publishing is essential

  • A love of reading & in-depth knowledge of both classical and modern literature

  • Experience creating engaging digital content

  • Excellent spoken and written English language skills, preferably also Chinese/Russian/both

If you are a team player and self-starter with a sense of fun and creativity, please apply today by sending your CV and a cover letter to (Deadline is Monday 15th July 2024).




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