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Czech Republic’s longest serving book dealer dies at 83

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In 1952, Jaromír Vytopil of Pelhřimov got his start in the book industry when he was 15 years old, where one of his first jobs was frantically revaluing books after the sudden currency reform imposed by the Soviet Union in June of 1953.

Except for 2 years of military service, Vytopil spent the rest of his life immersed in the world of books, starting his own bookstore in Pelhřimov nearly 30 years ago and becoming a well known staple of the community. 5 years ago he gained his title of “longest serving book seller” and entered the Czech Book Of Records.

In an interview with in 2015, he said “I have always had a lot of fun with books, I also read while walking… It is said that little is read today. Yes, that’s true, but in a way, that’s always been true. Only a certain group of people read at any given time while the others just aren’t interested in books.”

His store in Pelhřimov is called Vytopilovo knihkupectví (Vytopil’s Books), and was littered with flowers and candles following his passing.

Miroslav Marek, head of the Dobrý den agency based in Pelhřimov, also remembers Vytopil very fondly.

“When I was little and had to pick a book for a book report, I would go see Mr. Vytopil. When I bought my very first Christmas gift, I saw Mr. Vytopil. When we organized games with the children, we would give them prizes from Mr. Vytopil’s store.”

Vytopil’s final farewell will take place 11 am on November 18th, in the Dean’s Church of St. Batholomew in Pelhřimov

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