The Blackwell bookshop in the UK will stay an independent bookstore. Pretty much forever. I love it when the obscenely rich turn from eating Condor eggs and strapping the poor to their feet as slippers to wear around the castle to doing good.
Toby Blackwell has moved to secure the future of the Blackwell bookshop chain as a private business by setting up an “impervious” 80-year trust that will take ownership of the voting shares after he dies.
In an interview in The Bookseller this week, Blackwell said that he wanted to prevent his family from any “interference” in Blackwell’s following his death, and has earmarked £1m in case any “defensive action” is required. He stressed that he wanted the firm to remain private. In the past the family has been beset by infighting over the ownership and direction of its retail wing, as well as its publishing business, which was finally sold in 2006.
Blackwell, who is also known as Julian, said he was “as loyal . . . as a man can possibly be” to the firm, which was founded by his grandfather, Benjamin Harris Blackwell, in 1879.