Non Fiction

The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell


I do not remember where I first saw this book or its review. When I saw it available on Edelwiess+, I gave in to the impulse and requested it.

This book consists of a series of diary entries over an extended period of time detailing the day to day headaches and triumphs of running a second hand book store in a ‘booktown’. For some strange reason, as I was reading it I got flashbacks to when I read James Herriot. Though the situations are completely different (him being a vet and here we only talk of books) the common thread is random eccentric behaviour of people who are a constant recurring presence in the story.

Although I did not know much about many of the books discussed(my tastes are a little more simple), I still enjoyed the information I was provided into the inner workings of the second hand book business. The random book club mentioned also seemed like something that would appeal to me. That said, I think it ran a little long. I had to pick it up again after a gap in order to actually finish it. I laughed out loud on many occasions and enjoyed it while I read it but I was not as invested in it as I would have liked to have been.

It did give me a whole new appreciation for those people who continue to fight the uphill battle against the rising tide of digital copies. This was ironic since I read an advance copy on my kindle!

I would recommend this book to those people who work within the industry since they may feel more with it than I did and therefore enjoy it even more.


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