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James Lackington: The Bookseller

James Lackington: The Bookseller


While you rummage through a bookshop, you go through a million thoughts. But, did it ever occur to you who started and revolutionized this concept of bookselling? James Lackington, the bookseller who never let his love for books fade away. Know more as you scroll:

  1. Known as a bookseller who revolutionized the British book industry, James Lackington helped bring about the renaissance of the British book trade.

  2. James Lackington was born in 1746 as the son of a shoemaker. He became a travelling pieman and was quite successful.

  3. His life changed when he fell in love with reading. He chose to eat in moderation so he could purchase more books.

  4. James moved to London in August 1774 with an inheritance of 10 pounds from his grandfather.

  5. James Lackington opened up a second-hand bookstore. He moved to Chiswell Street with his wife, Nancy. This was done by him to stay close to his business. Nancy, however, died in 1776 after both he and his wife contracted a fever.

  6. Their landlady, Dorcas Turton, took care of them during this ordeal. Both James and Dorcas survived, later marrying each other.

  7. Dorcas thoroughly enjoyed reading and proved a valuable asset to the business.

  8. By 1780, he had developed the trading policies that brought him fame and financial success. He changed his terms to cash only he sold at rock-bottom prices and pioneered the purchase of publishers’ “remainders, which he sold at a discount.

  9. James Lackington was about to release catalogues of 30,000 volumes and more after buying whole libraries.

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  10. Having accumulated £4000 in annual profits and having written the first version of his Memoirs, he moved into a country house with his wife in Merton, where he set up a carriage.

  11. James Lackington knew success because he learned how to buy and sell at a young age.

  12. James Lackington marked every book at the lowest and affordable price to sell while still making a profit.

Were you aware of James Lackington and his contribution to the community of books? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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