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The Yellow-lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee
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The Yellow-lighted Bookshop (original 2006; edition 2007)

by Lewis Buzbee

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1,020588,327 (3.89)47
Member:elliepotten
Title:The Yellow-lighted Bookshop
Authors:Lewis Buzbee (Author)
Info:Graywolf Press,U.S. (2007), Hardcover, 180 pages
Collections:Your library, Non-fiction, Read in 2008
Rating:****
Tags:autobiography, books, books about books, bookselling, literature, history, politics, economics

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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (2006)

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» See also 47 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 58 (next | show all)
I read this fairly recently, and yet don't remember much. So, I guess it must not've been noteworthy-ingly good or bad, imo. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
The subtitle is: A Memoir, a History. That pretty much describes this book. Buzbee has been in the book business virtually his whole life, starting as a part-time clerk when he was a teen. He’s worked at the counter, in the back room and on the road (as a publisher’s rep). And he’s also visited bookshops around the world on his own – he can’t help himself.

I am a big fan of independent bookstores and have been a loyal customer of several in my city. It was one of those indies that first brought this book to my attention and I’ve wanted to read it for a long time. I think I must have built it up in my mind and my expectations were too high. As a result I feel a little disappointed.
What I liked most about the book were his stories about bookshops from his personal experience, i.e. the memoir sections. But Buzbee also gives the reader a history of books – from clay tablets to scrolls to paper – and book-selling. And those sections I found less engaging. Yes they were somewhat interesting (I learned the derivation of “sheepskin” for diploma), but they were dry and lacked the personal connection of the memoir.

Still, there are several sections that I’m very glad I read. One of those is Buzbee’s argument to those who say that a book is too expensive; he’s specifically addressing the $25.00 price tag of a hardcover new release.
Today a San Francisco movie ticket will set you back $10.00. Two hours later, give or take, and poof, that money is nothing but your memory, at least until you pony up another $20.00 for the DVD. A 400-page novel will probably take at least 8 hours to read. Once you buy a book, it’s yours, and you can mark and look up at your leisure that one terrific paragraph that keeps floating through your head.
The technology of the book is much more flexible than film, more user friendly. The reader can dip into the book at will, without electricity, and is always aware of where she is in the book, halfway through, a third of the way, mere pages from the end, her fingers helping to measure the excitement of coming to the conclusion. Watching a scene from a film in slow motion is possible, but there’s an unreal air to it; reading a passage from a book slowly does nothing to rob the words of their power.
( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 5, 2016 |
Book lusters, booksellers, publisher reps, this book is for us! It's not about a bookshop with yellow light. It is about the author's life with bookstores as a bookseller, rep and book luster, and also about the history of bookselling! From papyrus scrolls to ebooks, from hand-inked books spread on the ground to modern bookstores, the author fascinates us! It is also full of personal experiences and overviews of specific stores. Feed the lust, read this book! ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
Book lusters, booksellers, publisher reps, this book is for us! It's not about a bookshop with yellow light. It is about the author's life with bookstores as a bookseller, rep and book luster, and also about the history of bookselling! From papyrus scrolls to ebooks, from hand-inked books spread on the ground to modern bookstores, the author fascinates us! It is also full of personal experiences and overviews of specific stores. Feed the lust, read this book! ( )
  jwood652 | Oct 21, 2015 |
This book jumped out at me in the library one day and I just HAD TO read it. Lewis Buzbee (great name) and I are definitely kindred spirits in our love of bookshops! The sinful pleasure he takes in the unnecessary wanderings through bookshops is tangible! A lovely sentence from the book "I do know that I'll leave with some book and head home to spend hours, both lost and found, in the perfect solitude of my sagging green chair" ( )
  Fliss88 | Aug 29, 2015 |
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for my mother and father
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When I walk into a bookstore, any bookstore, first thing in the morning, I'm flooded with a sense of hushed excitement. I shouldn't feel this way. I've spent most of my adult life working in bookstores....
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Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore - the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in grade school. Interwoven throughout is a historical account of the bookseller's trade - from the great Alexandria library with an estimated one million papyrus scrolls to Sylvia Beach's famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, which led to the extraordinary effort to publish and sell James Joyce's Ulysses during the 1920s.… (more)

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