Thursday 24 June | 18.00-19.00 | Online

London Rare Books School, in association with the Antiquarian Booksellers Association, presents a roundtable discussion on the acclaimed documentary film The Booksellers (2019)

Participants will include:

  • Ed Maggs (Managing Director, Maggs Bros. Ltd)
  • Leo Cadogan (Leo Cadogan Rare Books Ltd)
  • Laura Massey (Alembic Rare Books)
  • Heather O’Donnell (Honey & Wax Booksellers)

The Booksellers premiered in 2019 at the 57th New York Film Festival. The film features interviews with some of the most important dealers in the business, as well as prominent collectors, auctioneers, and writers. Both a loving celebration of book culture and a serious exploration of the future of the book, the film also examines technology’s impact on the trade, the importance of books as physical objects, the decline of used and rare bookstores, collecting obsessions, and the relentless hunt for the next great find. The roundtable discussion will explore some of the issues arising from the film and offer a comparative perspective on the US, UK and European rare book trades.

The film is available to view on demand across several countries, with UK and Ireland distribution by Republic Films Distribution. For information and streaming options see:


Ed Maggs is a fifth generation bookseller. In his bookselling role he is a proud hack, turning his hand to whatever interesting turns up: as the managing director of Maggs Bros of London he has been privileged to be involved with an unusual and interesting firm, and have worked with some very learned, skilful and focused people. He takes great joy both in them and his colleagues in the wider world of the rare book-trade, an occupation which offers asylum to an eclectic and attractive mix of clever and unconventional people.

Leo Cadogan is a bookseller specialising in pre-1800 European cultural and intellectual history. He has  a degree in modern history from Oxford University and an MA in Renaissance studies from the Warburg Institute. In 1997 he started in the book trade. His employments and own business have taken him through the London trade, and often to the European mainland and the US.

Laura Massey is the owner of Alembic Rare Books, which specialises in science, natural history, technology and medicine. She has degrees in the history of science and in book history,  and has experience working in libraries, and bookshops in the US and the UK. 

Heather O'Donnell owns Honey & Wax Booksellers in Brooklyn, NY, and runs the annual Honey & Wax Prize competition, which awards $1000 to a young woman book collector in the United States. She serves on the ABAA Board of Governors, the faculty of the Colorado Antiquarian Book Seminar (CABS-Minnesota), and the Yale Library Associates Trustees. Her work is featured in The Booksellers, the 2019 documentary on the New York book trade.