The Diary of a Bookseller (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Shaun Bythell is the perennially exasperated proprietor of what has to be the most delightful used bookshop in the UK, if not the world. If it's not the clueless or downright rude customers, it's his staff and their tendency to do things their own way, no matter what the boss says. At heart, though, you can tell he has a tremendous soft spot for the people in his life -- none more than Nicky, his obstreperous assistant/nemesis. This diary is not just for us bookstore geeks, though; anyone who loves a good anecdote and tales of small-town life will find nourishment here.

— From Peter


"Among the most irascible and amusing bookseller memoirs I've read." Dwight Garner, The New York Times
"Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny..." —The Daily Mail
The Diary of a Bookseller is Shaun Bythell's funny and fascinating memoir of a year in the life at the helm of The Bookshop, in the small village of Wigtown, Scotland—and of the delightfully odd locals, unusual staff, eccentric customers, and surreal buying trips that make up his life there as he struggles to build his business . . . and be polite . . .
In this wry and hilarious diary, he tells us the trials and tribulations of being a small businessman; of learning that customers can be, um, eccentric; and of wrangling with his own staff of oddballs. And perhaps none are quirkier than the charmingly cantankerous bookseller Bythell himself turns out to be.
Slowly, with a mordant wit and keen eye, Bythell is seduced by the growing charm of small-town life, despite—or maybe because of—all the peculiar characters there.

About the Author

Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. The Diary of a Bookseller is his first book.

Praise For…

”Among the most irascible and amusing bookseller memoirs I’ve ever read.” —Dwight Garner, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“For anyone who has ever dreamed of owning a bookstore. Bythell’s hilarious account will have those in the industry crying and those otherwise employed dropping their resume off at their local indie.” THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
"Bythell writes with biting humor . . . [He] is a man on a mission, and a year seen through his eyes convinces the reader that it is a mission worthy of undertaking." THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE
“Warm and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate [Bythell] so much.” THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
"Entertaining and dryly humorous . . . the book is fascinating." THE MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE
"With wit and humility, Bythell, owner of a used bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, chronicles a year in the life of a bookseller . . . Bythell’s narrative is lively and intelligent." PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Sure to bring book lovers chuckles, nods of recognition and a surge of hope for bookshops everywhere." SHELF AWARENESS
"Excruciatingly funny." BOOKLIST
"Makes for entertaining reading . . . he has a keen waggishness which makes his reflections funny and memorable and this book a hoot." THE MEMPHIS FLYER
“A cheerfully depressing account of independent bookselling today—deadpan, ruthless, poignant, and at times, so charming it’s almost unbelievable . . . surprisingly touching.” QUARTZ
“Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny…will stay long in the memory.” THE DAILY MAIL
“Wonderfully entertaining.” THE OBSERVER (London)
“Peopled with fascinating characters . . . laugh-out-loud funny.” THE SUNDAY HERALD
“It is hysterical. Anything that anyone ever wanted to know about what a bookseller really thinks is in here.” —Caitlin Luce Baker, University Bookstore
"Outspoken, hilarious and thought-provoking . . . It's the best inducement I’ve ever come across to set aside my occasional flirtation with e-readers, walk into a bookstore and get my hands on the real thing." BOOKREPORTER
"Often hilarious . . . The Diary of a Bookseller is a charming mix of wacky characters and caustic diatribe, an ode to that perilous trade." THE RECORD
Product Details
ISBN: 9781612198163
ISBN-10: 1612198163
Publisher: Melville House
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019
Pages: 320
Language: English