Yves Azemar is a passionate collector of rare books who likes to share his treasures with others. But his love affair with the printed word comes at a price. Mr Azemar is not married. His most meaningful relationships are with books and the French language. 'No one would put up with me spending so much time and money on books,' says the French teacher and Central bookshop owner with a shy smile. 'I have more freedom to travel around and find books when I am single.' Mr Azemar has been collecting rare books on Asia for 13 years. His love affair with the sub-continent started in 1986 when he landed a job as a French teacher at a university in Bangkok. It was during his five-year stay in Thailand that he started collecting English and French books on Asia. 'I got interested in Thai history ... that was the starting point of my book collecting on Asia,' says Mr Azemar, who spends all his holidays scouring book fairs and shops in Europe for written Asian treasures. Born in Morocco and educated in France, where he graduated with a degree in French literature, Mr Azemar, 52, started his French-language teaching career on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion as a 21-year-old. He stayed there for eight years before moving to Tahiti, where he taught for six years. Then came the teaching post in Bangkok, followed by a year in Jakarta before he came to Hong Kong, where he has been living and teaching for 13 years. His bookshop, Indosiam, which opened in July, is a hobby that has become a business. At the moment he spends four days teaching and three days in his small Lyndhurst Terrace shop, the walls of which are lined with 2,000 books. He has another 2,000 rare books in storage. The books cover everything from travel and exploration, history, geography, ethnology and linguistics to literature, arts and archaeology. Mr Azemar says he set up Indosiam because he could not find a rare book shop in Hong Kong. 'I found that surprising in a city of this size, and with so many international travellers,' he says. 'People come into the shop and, without so much as a glance at the books, ask me whether I have a web site. I don't think they really love books. 'And, no, I do not have a web site. I am quite old fashioned. All my indexes are written on cards.' But that's not to say he is anti-computers. Every day he browses the internet checking the international rare book market. He once spent $14,000 on an illustrated French book on Chinese history. For those who show an interest in his books, Mr Azemar has all the time in the world. He has even been known to give books away to customers who spend hours browsing.