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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop (2006)

by Lewis Buzbee

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1,2096311,610 (3.9)53
In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore - the smell and touch of books, the joy of 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 i...… (more)
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» See also 53 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
[This is a review I wrote in 2008]

**A book for bibliophiles**

A really enjoyable read from start to finish. A small and manageable book; not too long, not too short. Although described as a memoir, it's not all about the author but contains snippets of information and history that all booklovers will devour. It's quite nicely bound and is lightweight enough to carry around. All-in-all if you're a bibliophile, then this book is for you.

Lewis Buzbee tells his story as a partial memoir; the history of his interest, and then love, of books is described in some detail. He writes about his career as a bookseller (although always as an employee - he never ran his own shop) and as a publishers rep, and he writes about his love of visiting bookshops of all shapes and sizes. In-between this narrative is neatly woven a basic potted history of bookselling, from ancient times, through the Gutenberg press, and on into the production of mass market paperbacks. He writes about more recent publishing history such as the scandal surrounding the publication of James Joyce's 'Ulysses', and how the publishing of the book was taken on by one of Joyce's friends, the proprietor of the little but exclusive Shakespeare & Co. bookshop in Paris. Copies of the book then had to find their way into England and America where it had already been censored.

I have a few quibbles about Buzbee's style. At one point early on he mentions shop-lifting a book as a teenager; he narrates this in such a way that it sounds as though this is considered acceptable practice, or at the very least is an activity which lots of people have done and can understand. This did shock me quite a lot and marred my enjoyment slightly. In a couple of places he does also go over a point he's already mentioned which is a little repetitive. However, quibbles aside, I found this book an enjoyable journey from cover to cover and recommend it to all book lovers. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 13, 2020 |
I loved reading about the history of book sellers and bookstores, and finding out about independent bookstores in the Bay Area I plan to visit. Fun read for the book addiction like me. ( )
  LoriFox | Oct 24, 2020 |
from Lori - whose teacher he was ( )
  Overgaard | Feb 22, 2020 |
Here's another marvelous book for all of us book maniacs to read about our obsession. This one gets you into the back room of a bookstore. Buzbee knows the business inside out, having worked at selling books pretty much his entire adult life (when not reading or writing). The book alternates between Buzbee's musing on his own experiences with books, to the history and origins of books, to speculation about what might happen in the future. [The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop] was written ten years ago, before the e-book "caught on" but he is right that the medium has not been as popular as the purveyors had hoped. But he did predict the unpredictable and I would say the rise of the audiobook fulfills the surprise factor. Buzbee loves to speculate and he comes up with some great ideas: Books that get kids to read:"books of engagement"! There are many more gems of that kind. A great read! ***** ( )
1 vote sibylline | Aug 1, 2018 |
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It made me nostalgic, thinking back to what shaped me into an avid reader and the bookstores I had visited over my lifetime. I loved learning more about the history of a book itself and other fun/interesting trivia. I don't believe books will ever die. I cannot imagine not holding a book feeling the texture of the paper and smelling like books do. I borrowed this book from a friend but would love to purchase my own copy in a brick and mortar bookstore :) ( )
  ArchanaV | Jul 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
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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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In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore - the smell and touch of books, the joy of 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 i...

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