Quietly charismatic Welshman Peter Harries of Boz Books (named after Charles Dickens’ early nom de plume) has been a stalwart of book town Hay-on-Wye for more than three decades, and remains a go-to individual for collectors of Victorian editions. He tells Spear’s that he entered the trade spurred by ‘his love of Dickens and Victorian literature in general’.
Over the years, Harries, who has a ‘particular interest in literary first editions and unusual signed or association copies’, has sold many ‘firsts’ – including works by Jane Austen, Anthony Trollope, the Brontes and of course Dickens. ‘To be a book collector, one must enjoy the authors first,’ he says. ‘Investment, with constant change in fashion and value, is secondary.’