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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a…

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History (original 2006; edition 2008)

by Lewis Buzbee (Author)

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1,2496712,352 (3.9)62
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)
Title:The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History
Authors:Lewis Buzbee (Author)
Info:Graywolf Press (2008), Edition: Reprint, 224 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee (2006)


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English (66)  Spanish (1)  All languages (67)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
This delightful little book is part memoir, part history, and part gentle polemic. Buzbee started his career in the last great bookstore age, when the tech nerds busy creating the modern Internet depended on print books just as everybody else did. He seems (like me) always to have been in love with books: not just with particular books, or with the pleasures that reading books can bring, but with the very idea of books, not to mention with their feel, their look, their smell. He has much to share with other booklovers about how bookstores are run, and what it was to work in one (and is still, for a lucky few). Along the way he covers the history of books as we know them and of the vendors, stalls, and stores that sell them. Not surprisingly, he's worked not just as a bookstore employee but as a publisher's representative, and he has interesting stories about what that life is like, too.

I enjoyed every page of this book and read it very quickly. I'm sure that anybody who likes books at all would like it. ( )
  john.cooper | Mar 17, 2022 |
Pleasant and interesting until just past the middle when it went more into the business and less into history and memoir when it flattened out for me as if the author were more checking off the boxes he had to cover. Also, considering how much e-Books and Amazon in general has taken over the world, strongly nostalgic. It is sad to hear of all those no-longer-bookstores. ( )
  quondame | Aug 6, 2021 |
With the title and cover, I anticipated that the author had somewhere along a coast opened an enticing "Yellow-Lighted Bookshop."

Even without fulfilling that expectation, he offers one of those rare books where a reader might pause midway through the first chapter
and read from the start again just to savor the words.

He makes a powerful statement against government, or any, censorship.
My sole objection to this was finding a book in the children's section of
a bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin that showed two identical pigs (I think).
One was pink and the other was brown.

The pink one was labeled "Clean" and the brown one "Dirty."

Hello!?! to the editor who allowed this to be published.

The other odd things are his many mentions of illustrations,
none of which are included, the boring slowdown of plot "On the Road,"
and his glossing over stealing, books, test answers, etc. ( )
  m.belljackson | Apr 10, 2021 |
[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 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (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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