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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop (2006)

by Lewis Buzbee

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1,072617,795 (3.88)48

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Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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 |
This is a quick, fun read. With an overview of the history of books and bookselling, as well as reminiscences about his own life among books, the author covers a lot of ground in this small volume. Lots of fun for any bookaholic! ( )
  glade1 | May 8, 2017 |
Really enjoyable little book about books, my favorite topic! ( )
  Iambookish | Dec 14, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (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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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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