Shaun Bythell
Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

I spent part of December 2018 in Wigtown, Scotland—in Bythell's own bookshop. Bythell documents the unusual, eccentric, and often irksome behavior he witnesses every day in his shop. From the publisher: "Shaun Bythell and his mordantly unique observational eye make this perfect for anyone who loves books and bookshops. It does take all kinds and through the misanthropic eyes of a very grumpy bookseller, we see them all. There’s the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman). Then there’s the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter), and the Family Historian (generally Americans who come to Shaun’s shop in Wigtown, Scotland). Don’t forget the Person Who Doesn’t Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) and the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare. Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer—all add up to one of the funniest books about books you’ll ever find."

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The Diary of a Bookseller

The Diary of a Bookseller

I spent part of December 2018 in Wigtown, Scotland—in Bythell's own bookshop—so of course I had to read this before I went. This is Bythell's actual year-long diary of his days at the helm of The Bookshop, complete with daily customer count and till totals. But the real focus is on the customers: Bythell documents the unusual, eccentric, and often irksome behavior he witnesses every day in his shop. As for my own visit, you can read about it here.

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Confessions of a Bookseller

Confessions of a Bookseller

Author:

I spent part of December 2018 in Wigtown, Scotland—in Bythell's own bookshop. From the publisher: "A funny memoir of a year in the life of a Scottish used bookseller as he stays afloat while managing staff, customers, and life in the village of Wigtown. Inside a Georgian townhouse on the Wigtown highroad, jammed with more than 100,000 books and a portly cat named Captain, Shaun Bythell manages the daily ups and downs of running Scotland’s largest used bookshop with a sharp eye and even sharper wit. His account of one year behind the counter is something no book lover should miss. Shaun drives to distant houses to buy private libraries, meditates on the nature of independent bookstores ('There really does seem to be a serendipity about bookshops, not just with finding books you never knew existed, or that you’ve been searching for, but with people too.'), and, of course, finds books for himself because he's a reader, too."

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