Housmans News

VACANCY: SATURDAY BOOKSELLER (part-time, 1 day per week)

August 3, 2022
Image of Housmans front counter taken from the graphic novel Maggy Garrisson, illustrated by Stéphane Oiry

Housmans Bookshop is seeking to hire a part-time bookseller for Saturdays only. Additional ad hoc hours may be available. 

Central to the role will be serving customers and helping with a wide range of day-to-day shop activities. Full job description below.

Housmans is the UK’s oldest continuously-running radical bookshop, specialising in books, magazines and pamphlets reflecting a broad spectrum of radical and progressive political movements, including pacifism, feminism, anarchism, socialism, anti-fascist and anti-racist politics, environmental politics and more. We also stock fiction, poetry, children’s books, and host a range of events and book clubs throughout the year. We operate on a not-for-profit basis.

We are seeking an enthusiastic new worker with an interest in books and radical politics, who would like to work in a public-facing role. We would expect any applicant to be a keen reader and have an awareness of contemporary political writing. Knowledge of radical politics and contemporary campaigning issues would be preferable.

Experience in at least one of the following is highly desirable:

*retail or other customer service role

*some aspect of radical politics and campaigning

*bookselling or the book trade


This post is for one day per week, specifically all Saturdays.
Hours are 11am-6:30pm with an hour unpaid lunch break, so 6.5 hours per Saturday. 

Housmans operates wage parity, and we are a Living Wage employer. The current hourly rate is £12p/h.

Pro-rata holiday allowance equates to five Saturdays a year, plus any public holidays that may fall on a Saturday.

There are sometimes opportunities for additional hours – for instance, providing holiday cover, or working at events and bookstalls.

For the right candidate, there may be the possibility to pick up additional ad hoc hours through events hosting. The main skills required for this role are public speaking and communication skills, experience and knowledge of Zoom and other online event platforms, and an ability to tactfully handle political differences. If you might like to be involved in this work please let us know about any relevant experience you might have. Full training will be given.  


The Saturday bookseller works in the shop with one of the co-managers; they are principally responsible for serving and helping customers at the front desk, but there are a range of other responsibilities. The role can also be adapted to incorporate any particular skills or interests of the applicant – for instance, a talent for social media or interest in secondhand books. 

Full training in all of the below will be given:

Serving & helping customers

This includes:

Taking cash and card payments and serving customers in a friendly manner. 

Talking and interacting with a wide variety of people and personalities.

Looking up books on our system and placing customer orders.

Offering recommendations.

Telling visitors about the shop.

Answering the phone.

Processing online orders

Processing and packing orders placed through our website.

Stock checking

Regularly checking the different sections in the shop against our stock system for missing or miscategorised books, and ensuring books are shelved correctly in alphabetical order. 

Keeping the shop tidy and books well-displayed

Tidying and straightening books on the table and shelves throughout the day, ensuring books are well displayed; keeping the till area tidy; light cleaning including dusting. 

Receiving deliveries, entering and shelving new books 

Unpacking books when they arrive, checking them against invoices, entering into our stock control system and shelving.

Updating the website

Helping to update our website, particularly by adding new books to our front pages and adding product descriptions.

Shop inbox 

Helping to monitor the general shop inbox, answering queries where possible and forwarding messages to relevant members of staff. 

Social media

Social media skills are not essential, but if you do have confidence in this area we would welcome content contributions to our various accounts, including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 


Please send a cover letter outlining your suitability and a CV by email to shop[at]housmans.com

Deadline for submissions is 11am Tuesday 23rd August 2022.

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