A funny memoir of a year in the life of a Scottish used bookseller as he stays afloat while managing staff, customers, and life in the village of Wigtown.
Inside a Georgian townhouse on the Wigtown highroad, jammed with more than 100,000 books and a portly cat named Captain, Shaun Bythell manages the daily ups and downs of running Scotland’s largest used bookshop with a sharp eye and even sharper wit. His account of one year behind the counter is something no book lover should miss.
Shaun drives to distant houses to buy private libraries, meditates on the nature of independent bookstores (“There really does seem to be a serendipity about bookshops, not just with finding books you never knew existed, or that you’ve been searching for, but with people too.”), and, of course, finds books for himself because he’s a reader, too.
The next best thing to visiting your favorite bookstore (shop cat not included), Confessions of a Bookseller is a warm and welcome memoir of a life in books. It’s for any reader looking for the kind of friend you meet in a bookstore.
Praise for Shaun Bythell and Confessions of a Bookseller
“Something of Bythell’s curmudgeonly charm may be glimpsed in the slogan he scribbles on his shop’s blackboard: “Avoid social interaction: always carry a book.” —The Washington Post
“Bythell’s wicked pen and keen eye for the absurd recall what comic Ricky Gervais might say if he ran a bookshop.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Irascibly droll and sometimes elegiac, this is an engaging account of bookstore life from the vanishing front lines of the brick-and-mortar retail industry. Bighearted, sobering, and humane.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Amusing and often cantankerous stories [that] bibliophiles will delight in, and occasionally wince at.” —Publishers Weekly