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Well-known bookseller bows out in Windsor

Well-known bookseller bows out in Windsor

Francis Batt

Well-known bookseller bows out in Windsor

The man who has brought scores of world famous authors to Windsor is bowing out of the town's literary scene.

Fraser Jansen became legendary for his knack of attracting writing greats to the town to talk about their books.

He started his career at Hammicks bookshop in King Edward Court in 1988 after moving to the town from his native South Africa.

The 50-year-old later worked at Methvens, where he was manager, and more recently at Waterstones in Peascod Street.

PD James, Sebastian Faulks, John Mortimer, Gyles Brandreth and Winston Churchill's daughter Lady Soames are among the many authors who have answered questions at packed book launch sessions organised by Fraser.

"I always made sure they were treated impeccably and that meant greeting them at the door, walking them back to their car or to the station when the event was over," he said.

"I heard stories about famous authors arriving at book signings to find the staff had not even been told they were coming."

The book selling business has shrunk to a fraction of what it was thanks to new technology and online selling. Fraser himself is taking voluntary redundancy.

He plans to visit his parents in South Africa before returning to Windsor where he wants to continue to live.

Fraser believes there will always be a demand for a good old-fashioned book.

His big mission, he admits, was always to get people to read.

"My mother read to me when I was young and took me to libraries. So I was never afraid of books," he said.

"One of my proudest moments was when a mother thanked me because her 10-year-old son who had never read anything in his life became a voracious reader after I helped him start."

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