Author(s): Shaun Bythell
Shaun Bythell owns the Bookshop, 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.
Hilarious, wry, and charming, Shaun Bythell's stories from his second-hand bookshop in remotest Scotland are sure to delight readers of all stripes.
Having heard that Shaun Bythell was going to be speaking at the Booksellers Conference this year, I picked up a copy of his book to read in anticipation of the event. I could not put it down, and reached the end with a feeling of sadness and nostalgia - so attached had I become to his bookshop's world and its myriad of interesting characters. Shaun's daily entries of life in (and around) his bookshop are written in a matter-of-fact, deadpan style and had me in fits of laughter at some points. The Bookshop itself is the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland, and I gained a fascinating insight into another side of the book-selling industry, as well as factors we have in common - soulless Amazon, bizarre customer queries, and of course a love of books. From his hilarious employee Nicky, who raids a skip each Friday to bring in dubious morsels barely resembling food, to the grumpy post-shop man, the Wigtown Book Festival, customers who stroll on past his 'PRIVATE' signs to the nether regions of his house, and Sandy the Tattooed Pagan, there is much to savour and scoff at - and I'm sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did! Jemma