This year at school the Head of the Careers department encouraged everyone in my year to take part in a week of work experience after finishing our GCSEs. English and books have always been a great passion of mine, so from the beginning I knew something related to that would be ideal. Luckily I did not have to search too far as my Mum said she knew a family from her work at a school nursery who owned a bookshop that specialised in rare and antique books. I got in touch with James and he and Georgina were kind enough to accept me into the shop for a week following my exams.

I learned a lot of things during my week at Lucius Books about the buying and selling of books and how to judge the value based on the condition of the book. It was a job I knew little about before my week, but one I found to be different to anything I have ever heard of as well as being really interesting.

One of my tasks during the week was to research the life of George Orwell, a topic which was fascinating. I always enjoy learning about the inspiration behind novels, and how the author’s lives affect their writing. Reading about Orwell’s life inspired me to read the works I now knew so much about, and I recently finished reading 1984 (which I found to be extremely eye opening if a little depressing!).

Another highlight of the week for me was a Bonhams auction, in which James was brave enough to let me bid for a couple of items, including one amazing item which after a long and tense battle we won (but am not allowed to say anything more about)!

The week allowed me to learn so much about the antiquarian book business and has opened up a career path to me that I may have never even considered otherwise. I would like to thank James and Georgina once again for giving me the opportunity to help out in the shop, and for their and Monica’s kindness, patience and dozens of cups of green tea throughout the week!

Polly Moss