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The diary of a bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The diary of a bookseller (edition 2017)

by Shaun Bythell

Series: Bookseller (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2826612,743 (3.88)121
"The funny and fascinating memoir of Bythell's experiences at the helm of The Bookshop, Scotland's largest second hand bookstore--and the delightfully unusual staff members, eccentric customers, odd townsfolk and surreal buying trips that make up his life there"--
Title:The diary of a bookseller
Authors:Shaun Bythell
Info:London : Profile Books Ltd, 2017.
Collections:Your library

Work Information

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

  1. 20
    Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (dajashby)
    dajashby: by the same author
  2. 20
    Winkeldagboek by Hans Engberts (sneuper)
    sneuper: Also a diary about an antiquarian bookseller, his store and his customers
  3. 20
    The bankrupt bookseller speaks again by William Young Darling (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Bythell mentions Darling's observations that are still relevant to selling books today.
  4. 10
    The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap by Wendy Welch (sneuper)
    sneuper: A book about a small independent bookstore and the struggle to survive
  5. 00
    Oude Gracht 234 : winkeldagboek 2003-2007 by Hans Engberts (sneuper)
    sneuper: Also a diary written by an antiquarian bookseller about his shop and his customers
  6. 01
    The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution by Walter Isaacson (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: What's happening to used book selling, and why.

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» See also 121 mentions

English (63)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  German (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Bookseller Shaun Bythell, owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, kept a diary over the course of a year from February 2014 to early 2015. It gives the reader a good idea of what it is like to run an independent second-hand bookstore. The reader accompanies Bythell as he travels to various locations to sort through a collection of books, which are usually remnants of the former owner’s lifetime interests. We view the employees, customers, friends, the occasional writer, townsfolk, and even the resident cat through his eyes. Many of these are eccentric characters, and Bythell sketches them with wry humor.

He describes his rocky relationship with online e-commerce giants, who almost arbitrarily change the company’s status and demand corrective action. One of the highlights is the local festival of books in all its chaotic glory, providing a boost to the local economy. It is surprising to learn what types of books generally sell well and was not at all what I would have expected. I found it entertaining and enjoyed this peek inside the book trade. It will appeal to secondhand bookshop enthusiasts.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
A fun read that is literally the diary of a bookseller. Located in Wigtown, Scotland, "The Book Shop" is a venue that reminds me a lot of Haunted Bookshop here in good old IC, right down to the cats. Some interesting insights about selling on-line and how despicable but (now) necessary Amazon is to the whole undertaking. Lots of funny Scottish characters and moronic customer tales. Provides a real sense of place in a tucked-away part of Scotland with mild laughs throughout. ( )
  jsmick | Sep 24, 2022 |
More like a 2.5, but I'm rounding up. I'm not really sure why I finished the whole book. I probably should have just started skimming it after page 50. I enjoyed learning about the secondhand book trade and hearing Shaun's opinion on Amazon, but the diary got repetitive after awhile and often nothing very interesting happened. There are some funny insights and customer stories, but not enough for a 300 page book. It should have been edited down a bit more. ( )
  SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
Absolutely loved this book! It’s a great insight into the book trade and also how rotten customers can be in retail to workers! Laughed many times reading this! ( )
  thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
A peek into the life of a used book seller. A quick search online led me to some videos of memorable moments in the book. ( )
  PlanCultivateCreate | Aug 8, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
Bythell is often as charmingly unlikeable as his customers, ridiculing them in the book and online. It’s not clear that he’s actually helpful. He routinely receives complaints about unfulfilled or switched book shipments. His employees appear mostly incompetent...

The Diary of a Bookseller doesn’t seem like it should work. Life at The Book Shop is boring. On a typical day Bythell might sell £200 worth of books, once as little as £5. But there is a soothing monotony to the rhythm of his days. Bythell somehow creates a sense of urgency in the nothingness, and readers may feel that if they skip even one day, they’ll miss some winningly cutting remark.
added by SnootyBaronet | editQuartzy, Thu-Huong Ha

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Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Orwell's reluctance to commit to bookselling is understandable.
While she (Laurie) was having her lunch break, a customer started rummaging in a box of unproved books, and found a Penguin edition of ‘[The Day of the Triffids]’ priced in pencil at 12 pence, presumably from a charity shop in the 1970s.  But when I told her our price would be one pound fifty, she decided that was “outrageous,” and that if that was the case, she would just get it from the library.  I’ve a feeling that “outraged” may be her factory setting.
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"The funny and fascinating memoir of Bythell's experiences at the helm of The Bookshop, Scotland's largest second hand bookstore--and the delightfully unusual staff members, eccentric customers, odd townsfolk and surreal buying trips that make up his life there"--

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Average: (3.88)
0.5 1
1 4
1.5 2
2 8
2.5 6
3 62
3.5 30
4 108
4.5 15
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