Dear Diary of a Bookseller,
You made me laugh, but you also made me pretty self conscious. I found you a little cynical, yet for that same reason I enjoyed your company. We had a good time while it lasted.
P.S. Book Details
Author: Shaun Bythell
Book Length: 310 pages/ 9 hours 42 minutes
Book Genre: Memoir
Publication Date: September 2017
Synopsis: Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost … In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.
Yet another book I found through the free Audible membership, they actually have some good books on there (is that too mean to say?). I will add on the guilt of listening to a book, through Amazon, while the author is stating his dissatisfaction of both digital books and Amazon. However, I’m not sure I would have found out about the book if not through Amazon. So…?
One thing his book did for me was to remind me of the importance of supporting my own local bookstore. I love having a local bookstore, but sometimes balk at how expensive the books are. Bythell showed the behind the scenes of running a local bookstore, the good and the difficult. He also showed the charm of his own store through the staff. I enjoyed the cute little stories of Nicky, or his little entries of the mundane. In a way, I felt the book reflected what it must be like to enter his shop – a little eclectic, but charming nonetheless.
I found Bythell to be a little cynical about his situation at times, which took some of the joy away for me. But, then he shares a story which has even me shaking my head at people’s rudeness. His humor did make me chuckle aloud a couple times and smiling throughout the book. This is by no means a solemn memoir to be meditated on, much more anecdotal.
For any reader who is looking for a light read about a charming subject, I recommend this book to you. You may feel a little attacked as a reader at parts of the book, however, it hits so close to home often because of how true it it. If you’re anything like me, some of the stories feel like warnings of the customer I never, ever, want to be.