The Diary of a Bookseller (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Shaun Bythell's Diary of a Bookseller is exactly what the title suggests: one year's worth of daily journal entries by the proprietor of The Bookshop in Wigtown, "Scotland's National Book Town," a small village in the remote Galloway region of southwestern Scotland. Bythell is a charming if prickly guide to both bookselling in general and his curious little corner of Scotland in particular, and he pulls no punches when describing the parts of his work that drive him insane with both delight (customers, staff) and rage (Amazon, customers, staff). This by itself makes for delicious reading, but it's balanced by his reverence for the finer moments of bookselling, like the thrill of coming across a rare edition in an abandoned barn, or the privilege of poring through the personal library of the recently deceased. For anyone who has ever dreamed of opening a bookstore, especially a second-hand one, this is required reading. It will either cure you of the sickness or make it much, much worse.

— Chris

About the Author

Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. The Diary of a Bookseller is his first book.

Praise For…

”Among the most irascible and amusing bookseller memoirs I’ve every read.” —Dwight Garner, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Warm and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate [Bythell] so much.” —MAIL ON SUNDAY

“It is hysterical. Anything that anyone ever wanted to know about what a bookseller really thinks is in here.”—Caitlin Luce Baker, University Bookstore

"Outspoken, hilarious and thought-provoking... It's the best inducement I’ve ever come across to set aside my occasional flirtation with e-readers, walk into a bookstore and get my hands on the real thing." —BOOKREPORTER

"Often hilarious... The Diary of a Bookseller is a charming mix of wacky characters and caustic diatribe, an ode to that perilous trade." —THE RECORD

“For anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a bookstore. Bythell’s hilarious account will have those in the industry crying and those otherwise employed dropping their resume off at their local indie.” —SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"Excruciatingly funny." —BOOKLIST

"Makes for entertaining reading... he has a keen waggishness which makes his reflections funny and memorable and this book a hoot." —MEMPHIS FLYER

"Bythell writes with biting humor... Bythell is a man on a mission, and a year seen through his eyes convinces the reader that it is a mission worthy of undertaking." —CHICAGO TRIBUNE

 "With wit and humility, Bythell, owner of a used bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, chronicles a year in the life of a bookseller... Bythell’s narrative is lively and intelligent." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"Sure to bring book lovers chuckles, nods of recognition and a surge of hope for bookshops everywhere." SHELF AWARENESS

“A cheerfully depressing account of independent bookselling today -- deadpan, ruthless, poignant, and at times, so charing it’s almost unbelievable… surprisingly touching.” QUARTZ

"Entertaining and dryly humorous...  the book is fascinating." —MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

“Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny…will stay long in the memory.” —DAILY MAIL
“Wonderfully entertaining.” —THE OBSERVER (London)
“Peopled with fascinating characters . . . laugh-out-loud funny.” —SUNDAY HERALD
Product Details
ISBN: 9781612198163
ISBN-10: 1612198163
Publisher: Melville House
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019
Pages: 320