The Diary of a Bookseller

The Diary of a Bookseller

3.74 (23,896 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.74 (23,896 ratings by Goodreads)

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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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 144 x 222 x 33mm | 508g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • Integrated black and white photographs
  • 1781258627
  • 9781781258620
  • 13,769

Review quote

Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny, this gently meandering tale of British eccentricity will stay long in the memory. * Daily Mail * Funny and fascinating in equal measure - a must for all those of us who haunt the sepulchres where old books are laid to rest. * Anthony McGowan * 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. -- Jon Dennis * Mail on Sunday * Peopled with fascinating characters ... a sarcastic reminder of the struggles of small business ownership, the importance of community and the frustration of dealing with customers ... occasionally laugh-out-loud funny. * Herald * Wonderfully entertaining ... Bythell is a true believer, who makes a passionate case for the importance of books * Observer * Tempted to follow your dream and open a second-hand bookshop? Don't do anything before you read Shaun Bythell ... second-hand bookshops are alive because of people like him. * The National * Utterly compelling and Bythell has a Bennett-like eye for the amusing eccentricities of ordinary people ... I urge you to buy this book and please, even at the risk of being insulted or moaned at, buy it from a real live bookseller. -- Charlotte Heathcote * Sunday Express * I tore through the pages, but I was also rather sad when it finished - I could have read much, much more. Any bibliophiles should race to get a copy. * Shiny New Books * A book and bookshop lover's delight. * Red * Laconic, droll, opinionated and unconvincingly misanthropic ... Wigtown's Pepys. -- Alan Taylor * Times Literary Supplement * So sardonically funny it could be designed to de-romance the book trade * The Times * I was delightedly reading - and I thoroughly recommend to you - a book I was given: The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, the owner of a second-hand bookshop in Wigtown. On the cover, the blurb says it is "funny and fascinating in equal measure" and I quote that because I couldn't put it better myself. -- Eddie Mair Gentle, ... funny and immensely soothing -- Alan Bennett A brilliant, funny and recommended book -- Mike Scott, The Waterboys Charming and witty and wicked -- Jen Campbell I generally dislike books about bookselling because they're treacly and self-satisfied, but Shaun Bythell's subversive The Diary of a Bookseller is an antidote. * New York Times (a New York Times Book of the Year) *
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About Shaun Bythell

Shaun Bythell bought The Bookshop in Wigtown on 1 November 2001, and has been running it ever since with an increasing passion for the business, matched only by a sense of despair for its future, and an ill-humour inspired by a decade-and-a-half of dealing with confused customers and surly staff. His internationally-bestselling books The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller have been translated into over twenty languages, including Russian, Korean and French.
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Rating details

23,896 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 23% (5,475)
4 40% (9,492)
3 28% (6,634)
2 8% (1,793)
1 2% (502)
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