Roger J. Treglown
I was born in 1947 and brought up in the Hulme / Moss Side area of Manchester. My parents had friends in Brooklands, in those days a very well to do area of South Manchester. Most Sunday afternoons we would catch the electric train to Brooklands and have tea with Auntie Doris and Uncle Neville. As a youngster of five or six, I was quickly bored listening to their adult conversation and spent a lot of time in their huge garden climbing trees, etc. One afternoon I returned from the garden and went into the room at the front of house, the front parlour, which was usually kept locked. There was a strange musty smell in the room and it became clear that it was coming from the alcove next to the fireplace. After pushing a chair over to the alcove I stood on it and found myself looking at a shelf of old books. Checking the adults were still talking in the lounge, I lifted one of the books from the shelf and opened it the smell was intoxicating! That was the start of it all – I was hooked!
Much has happened in the intervening years. Since 1980 I have been sniffing books and selling them, and enjoyed every minute of it. I served my apprenticeship as an engineer, but entering the world of antiquarian bookselling in the late seventies made me realise I had to undergo another apprenticeship if I were to progress and make a living out of selling books. As a part-time bookseller I joined the Provincial Booksellers’ Fairs Association (PBFA) and then the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (ABA) in 1989 as a full time bookseller.
Selling books has provided me an enjoyable, but hard working, living. In 2000, I decided it was time to put something back into the book world, so I stood for election for the ABA Council. Since then, I have served on Council for some twenty years, worked with the ABA's Firsts and Chelsea book fair committees, and was elected President of the association from 2019-2021. I maintain my role as Honorary Librarian of the Association, which I have held since 2004.