Peter Makin is Brilliant Books’ owner. He is English and still has the accent to prove it. He emigrated to the US twice, once in 1981 and again in 2006 when he returned after a 15 year absence. He is now an American citizen, but is eternally grateful to live in an era of streaming football—er, soccer—services.
How many states (or countries) have you lived in?
2 States, 4 Countries.
What's the one thing you wish people knew about bookselling?
People warn you before you open a bookstore. They tell you that once you own a bookstore you won't have time to read. They are right. It's why more booksellers than you might imagine listen to books rather than actually read them. My 20 minute commute is my reading time. Also, and most importantly, It is by far the most fulfillng job I have ever had - and I have done all sorts of weird things.
What would you say are the top five most interesting things about you?
- That despite emigrating twice and living on three continents, I find this question strangely difficult
- My dog is named after Chelsea soccer player Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
- I was elected Borough Councilman in 1996.
- I once (1982) had a lengthy conversation with Bob Dylan totally unaware of who he was.
- I was offered a place at the London School of Economics in 1978, but took a gap year to work on the pending general election. I am still on that gap year.
If you weren't a bookseller what would you be doing instead?
Member of Parliament / Soccer Pundit
What's one book that changed your life?
The Watercourse Way by Alan Watts
Peter is also one of our Brilliant Books Monthly book selectors. Learn more about how he chooses books for our nonfiction readers!