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Shaun Bythell

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Another diary of a bookseller. Bythell describes the day by day happenings in the Scottish town of Wigtown, with all of their kooky and wonderful residents. This describes the events of 2016.
SarahEBear | 5 andra recensioner | Sep 15, 2023 |
In The Diary of a Bookseller, author Shaun Bythell shares a year in his life as a bookseller through a series of journal entries written between 2014-15. Since 2001, Shaun Bythell owns and operates 'The Bookshop' in Wigtown , the Book Town of Galloway. His store is the largest second-hand bookstore in Scotland. His daily life consists of time in his shop with his part-time employees including students from nearby universities, the eccentric Nicky whose antics will have you in splits and, of course, the shop cat, Captain. He shares his experiences in estate sales and valuations and organizing local book festivals and also shares anecdotes from his experiences with the variety of customers who visit his shop both his regulars and tourists- browsers, buyers and sellers. He posts some of the more entertaining interactions on his Facebook page along with pictures and videos of his store. Some of the encounters are laugh-out-loud funny. He is not too fond of ebooks and once he expressed his distaste towards Kindles by shooting through a damaged Kindle and mounting it on a wall in his shop- which he claims is one of the most popular displays in his shop (the video of which I promptly looked up!)

The author sheds a light on both the appealing and the mundane aspects of the profession of bookselling. He charts his sales, acquisitions and even mentions how much money is left in the till at the close of that particular day. Besides direct sales, the shop also sells through Amazon and AbeBooks. The author also discusses the challenges faced in selling books from brick-and-mortar stores in the era of Amazon, Waterstones and the popularity of ebooks over physical books.

I enjoy fictional stories set in bookstores and libraries. Therefore when I found out about this memoir that gives us a true picture of life as a bookseller and the different aspects of the business, I was genuinely interested. I enjoyed the extracts from George Orwell’s “Bookshop Memories” at the beginning of each chapter and the ensuing discussion on Orwell’s experiences working part-time in a bookstore (1934-36) and the author’s perspective on the profession in the modern-day. I found myself looking up the shop’s Facebook page and enjoyed the pictures of the shop and Captain. Overall, this is a slow-paced, light and entertaining memoir that I thoroughly enjoyed and I look forward to reading the follow-up books in his series.
… (mer)
srms.reads | 72 andra recensioner | Sep 4, 2023 |
I'm really enjoying all of the Shaun Bythell books I've read. This one I had to send the chapter on Managers to all my friends and family. A great giggle. Really priceless!
njcur | 21 andra recensioner | Aug 23, 2023 |
This was a quick audio book at a little over two hours. The narration was good but I did have to refer back to the ebook version and reread several sections. As for the content, this was another nonfiction book written during lockdown at the height of the pandemic. One most feel some empathy for the loss of income many businesses endured during that time period, and I guess writing another book probably seemed like a good idea for another source of income to Bythell.

Bythell's assessment of the various 'types' of customers who frequented his bookshop, was a little snarky. I thought some of the characterizations were probably true and could understand being irritated by browsers who never bought anything or rude customers. Still, I never really found his descriptions to be laugh-out-loud worthy, though they were obviously meant to be. At least Bythell also had the good grace to also poke fun at different types of book owners and staff members.

Three stars for an easy reading and quasi-entertaining insight into the antiquarian book business world, but I am glad it was short one.
… (mer)
Ann_R | 21 andra recensioner | Aug 7, 2023 |



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