Thursday 9 July 2020

The Diary of a Book Seller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a BooksellerThe Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days

Pages - 310

Publisher - Profile Books

Source - Bought

Blurb from Goodreads

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.

My Review

Who hasn't, of the book geek world, wanted to own their own bookshop? Bythell takes us on his own journey of what is it like working in a shop, how he came to be a bookshop owner. The chapters are relatively short which I love, especially now when my reading mojo is a bit hit and miss.

Each chapter he tells us how many books he has acquired and how much he has made, through sales that day. We go through how we gets books, the problems he encounters as a book seller, online sales, Amazon dealings, it is pretty interesting and stuff I never thought about.

The thing I found really interesting was the communications and behaviours of customers. You always assume book people, book lovers, would be better behaved. So many really are not, it is shocking just how many are rude and entitled! When the book was written they had a book club on the go which seems to be a thing of the past and an active facebook page, mostly kept up to dat eby his eccentric employee who is herself a bit of a character!

Interesting, charming, funny & informative in really opening my eyes to what a bookseller has to endure. He behaved and tolerates a lot of it much better than I could/would to be honest. When Covid is over I absolutely will be taking a trip to his store, 3.5/5 for me this time.

View all my reviews

1 comment:

  1. 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires ... surely every book worm's dream come true.

    What sounds like a great read, I so know what you mean about short chapters at the moment. Great review. If ever I find myself in Scotland I simply HAVE to visit this shop, we could even meet up.


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