2012 The Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100

Rank: 22   World of Books

Buys unsold books in bulk, saving charity shops the disposal costs

Charity shops with unsold books go to the West Sussex firm World of Books. The company buys unsold books in bulk, saving charity shops the disposal costs, and sells them on websites including eBay, Amazon and its own. It identifies buyers with technology developed in-house and when it cannot find them online, it sells in bulk to countries such as India and China that want cheap English language books. The business was started in 2008 by chairman Ken Blair, 55, and managing director Stephen Boobyer, 50, after they were approached by four enthusiasts.

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Company facts

World of Books
Books and media entertainment reseller
Company website

3-yr av sales growth
107.30% pa
2012 sales19.3m
2009 sales2.2m
2012 staff256
Founded2008
Location of HQWest Sussex
If applicable:
draft, audit exempt or not filed at Companies House
* annualised figure