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"YABS is a must!"

Jan Olisiejko-Czekaj, bookseller in Poland, was awarded a scholarship, shared by ILAB and the Peter Harrington Foundation to attend the York Antiquarian Book Seminar 2023.
Jan YABS 2023 2

In July this year, ILAB announced a scholarship for a young bookseller to attend the York Antiquarian Book Seminar. The response was overwhelming, with so many good candidates all deserving of the scholarship. The ILAB committee, therefore, decided to make more funds available and pay 50% towards a second scholarship. The other 50% was kindly matched by the Peter Harrington Foundation, for which we would like to thank their team.

Jan Olisiejko-Czekaj's report can be found below.

For a long time, I understood that passion is the fuel driving knowledge, and knowledge is the bridge connecting us with others. However, I hadn't encountered such passionate people until I arrived in York to attend the seminar.

Honestly, I had no specific expectations for the seminar, though I deeply hoped it would be an engaging experience with insightful lectures, interactive discussions, and fellow professionals. It not only met my expectations but also turned out to be a far more captivating time spent with passionate bibliophiles who have fallen in love with books. Indeed, passion does connect!

As a novice without connections, the world seemed wide open. For a beginner bookseller, the seminar provided invaluable insights into the nitty-gritty of bookselling. All aspects of the book trade were covered, with encouragement to delve further into the topics.

In early 2023, I began collecting old printings to enrich my bookshop with new copies of books that carry a historical significance. This quest led me to search for an organization that could help me deepen my interest, provide professional knowledge, and connect with people who share the same passion.

When I wrote my cover letter, in July 2023, I sensed that the seminar would be a turning point in my professional journey. The response was unexpectedly astonishing, marking the moment I could embark on a journey fueled by passion and hard work.

during the four days in late November, I spent in York, were the most intensive and fulfilling time I've had in the last several years. The days were filled with speeches, practical sessions, hands-on experiences, and engaging talks. Visiting book dealers and an old print house provided a profound insight into the world of books.

Encouraged and equipped, and connected, I can now move forward. For anyone aspiring to start a career in bookselling, YABS is a must!