From the archive: The bookselling trade, training of assistants - 13 June, 1922

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The need for educating booksellers’ assistants was emphasised by Mr JG Wilson (London) in a speech delivered at the annual conference of the Associated Booksellers of Great Britain at the Stationers’ Hall, London, yesterday.

Mr Wilson was urging the need of a scheme of training for assistants, and said bookbuyers frequently complained of the lack of understanding, on the part of assistants to appreciate their requirements. “We know,” he went on, “that, owing to the discount system, which nearly ruined business, wages were so low in the trade that assistants, realising the absence of any prospects, went out of the business. Now that booksellers are doing better, we should improve the outlook for assistants and adopt some method of training to fit them to conduct business with intelligence and appreciation that would commend itself to every type of customer.”