Title: The Diary of a Bookseller
Author: Shaun Bythell
Hardcover: 978-1781258620, $20.99
Imprint: London: Profile Books Ltd, 2017
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.
Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny, this gently meandering tale of British eccentricity will stay long in the memory.
Funny and fascinating in equal measure – a must for all those of us who haunt the sepulchres where old books are laid to rest.
The Diary Of A Bookseller is warm (unlike Bythell’s freezing-cold shop) and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate him so much.