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How a seller of rare books has set up from home

On a train departing Manchester last week I met a man who made me realise just how much the internet has revolutionised our way of working and impacted our place of work.

The man in question is a bookseller. But no ordinary bookseller; he sells rare, antiquarian and out-of-print books on Africa and the Middle East that cover a range of subjects "from anthropology to zoology", he explained.

The seller had just returned from delivering two thousand such books to a university in Norway that is aiming to become an international centre of excellence in the study of Sudan. The books had been bestowed to the University by a Sudanese businessman who is a keen collector and philanthropist who wants to spread understanding of his homeland as widely as possible.

Home base

The story was an interesting one but what was striking is that all this good work and activity is carried out from a home office in the county of Shropshire. The bookseller has operated from home for the past 15 years in a house that he shares with his Sudanese wife, two children and 8,000 books!

From his home he has established a worldwide reputation for his work and has brokered deals that will have an impact far beyond the borders of the UK.

Quote�With the internet, small companies can compete with large ones�End Quote

He is a shining example of what is possible now that the internet and broadband technology empower individuals to convert their passion and skills into an online occupation and trade with customers who live on the opposite side of the earth.

The internet is a true leveller; it means small companies can compete with large ones and specialist booksellers can take a fellow train traveller on a mesmerising journey from Shropshire to Sudan.

What next?

Read about the case of 15 year old Oliver Bridge who, identifying a gap in the market, launched a website to sell big shoes to people with big feet.

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