20 questions with Pom Harrington of leading rare book dealers Peter Harrington
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Do judge a book by its cover.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2013?
Three hour lunches.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
The pain free body of my youth.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
The keys to Château Latour.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
It took a lot of heat off estate agents.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“To be honest with you…”
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
When my father died of cancer, our book shop raised £10,000. The money went towards research that helped identify the gene involved in his cancer returning, which enabled better detection for other sufferers. But I’m lucky enough to be able to contribute to a variety of charities at home and abroad.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
That’s what noise-cancelling earphones were invented for.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Winston Churchill, J. K. Rowling, Jose Mourinho, Jane Austen and Vinnie Jones.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
A great cheeseburger, chased down with Château Latour 1982: on top of the Schilthorn.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
I’m a bluff old traditionalist. Six o’clock.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A Negroni spagliato (add Prosecco) in the evening sunshine outside the Bologna book fair.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
My own. I love seeing my friends enjoy themselves.
Who is the most positive person you know?
Me. I employ pessimists to keep me in line.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Shopping on Amazon when I can’t sleep.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
An open book.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A BMW. Reliable.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
Photos of my wedding day and a copy of our latest rare book catalogue.
Pom Harrington is the owner of Fulham Road based rare book specialists Peter Harrington. The company has sourced and sold items including Shakespeare’s first folio (1623), Virginia Woolf’s pocket engagement diaries for eight years including that for the final year of her life and the publisher’s copy of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn.
Follow Peter Harrington on Twitter @PHrarebooks
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Interesting interview Matthew…I often walk past Harringtons thinking that this must be one of the most pleasurable ways of making a living and having fun. However, I would haul Pom H over the coals for allowing Mr Jones in his carriage…..