Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The Diary of a Book Seller by Shaun Bythell


I am slowly, slowly getting into audio books. They are good when you are occupied by something and can't use your hands to hold a book. I love listening while walking and driving for a longer distance. I am still to remember to put it on while cleaning or doing things in the flat.

One perfect book for listening is Shaun Bythell's The Diary Of A Bookseller. Shaun bought a book shop in Wigtown, Scotland in 2001. It is simply called The Bookshop. Shaun kept a diary for one year and we follow him in his daily chores in the book business. Wigham seems to be a wonderful place, and famous for its many book shops.

It is a funny and sometimes hilarious diary, and gives us an insight in how it is to run a book shop these days. The competition with on-line businesses, although that is also part of the daily life of selling books. There seems to be on-line orders almost every day, except the days the system goes down!

Shaun shares his note about his life, his staff and different events at the book shop. The struggle to take care of loads of books at the time and to sort out what is worth keeping. We also gets a few comments from customers, which is always interesting. Various booking events take place during the year and you just wish you were there.

Each chapter is a day, and therefore easy to listen to and put down, even if you are only listening for a short while. Each day is a new chapter (so to say) and you don't have to worry if you don't remember exactly what happened yesterday.

After listening to the diary I am eager to visit Wigtown and its surroundings which sounds like a good place to spend a day or two. And who does not want to go through this huge bookstore and see what is hidden on the shelves. On The Bookshop, Wigham web-site it says that it is the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland and it has over a mile of shelving supporting roughly 100,000 books. Let's go!
You can also enjoy a few videos from the bookshop. Here is one with Shaun Bythell talking about his bookshop and here a funny video with the staff. I mean, while waiting to visit in real life.

If you love books this is an easygoing diary of life, far from the madding crowds. A nice relaxing ride into the world of books.

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