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 then ABA Committee (now Council), at present (2015) I have served on the Council for fifteen years, managed the ABA Chelsea Book Fair for fourteen years, served on the ABA Olympia Committee for the last five years, and have been the Honorary Librarian of the Association since 2004. And I still enjoy it!