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Profile of Ausssie bookseller Leo Berkelouw

The Southern Highland News, a newspaper in New South Wales, profiles Leo Berkelouw of Berkelouw Books – one of Australia’s best known rare booksellers. This dealer has 30,000 books listed with AbeBooks. It’s a family company that’s been going for a long, long time.

“The business started in Holland in 1812 by my great great great grandfather, Solomon Berkelouw,” he said. “In those days Solomon specialised in theology. He was guaranteed to sell his books on that subject because the well-to-do merchants who brought produce to Rotterdam Harbour were anxious to ensure their education and that of their families.

“Solomon would hawk a sack of books on his back to merchants on ships in the harbour. Unfortunately, one wintery afternoon when there was a heavy snow fall, Solomon slipped on a gang plank, fell into the icy water with his sack of books and met his demise.”

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