The Diary Of A Bookseller

Oct 1, 2019 | 1 comment


The Bookseller

My diary is rammed with things I go to and enjoy. The WI main meeting, the WI book group and garden group, the U3A main  meetings and the U3A science group, book group and the cookery group I run myself, as well as being membership secretary and web master. Then there’s the choir and a coffee meeting every Friday.

So the last thing I need is another group. But somehow, I managed to join the local horticultural society and at my first meeting, I picked up two books and two magazines for a couple of £’s. I’m already looking forward to getting some more!

The Diary of a Bookseller

One of the books was The Diary Of A Bookseller, which was a best seller, but of which I was ignorant. It proved to be a very enjoyable read. It’s the diary of Shaun Bythell, a bookseller in Wigtown, Scotland and is laugh out loud funny. The man has such a dry sense of humour!

It’s strangely expensive on Amazon, but being the best seller it was, you may well find a copy in a charity shop

This is what Amazon says – Love, Nina meets Black Books: a wry and hilarious account of life in Scotland’s biggest second-hand bookshop and the band of eccentrics and book-obsessives who work there


Having looked at Blindness, this one by the same author was recommended

£7 odd is rather more than I usually pay for a book I’ll only read once, but I wanted to read it, as the subject should be more than usually amusing with the current political shenanigans

This is what Amazon says – Despite the heavy rain, the officer at Polling Station 14 finds it odd that by midday on National Election day, only a handful of voters have turned out. Puzzlement swiftly escalates to shock when the final count reveals seventy per cent of the votes are blank. National law decrees the election should be repeated but the result is even worse. The authorities, seized with panic, decamp from the capital and declare a state of emergency. When apathy and disillusionment renders an entire democratic system useless what happens next?



Confessions of a Bookseller

I now find that Shaun has a second book out! I’ve already joined the facebook page, I might need to get this one, but I’ll wait until it’s cheaper, or look in the charity shops

‘Irreverently funny … kept me giggling all week.’ Scotland on Sunday

“Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?”

The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they’ve come to know and love.

Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms.

Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don’t understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices.

Shaun runs a Random Book Club from his shop. There is a £59 subscription, and each month a random book will be posted out to you. I’m seriously thinking of joining. It would be rather like a book group in that I would read things I otherwise might not pick up. What do you think, should I join?

‘The Diary Of A Bookseller is warm (unlike Bythell’s freezing-cold shop) and funny, and deserves to become one of those bestsellers that irritate him so much.’ (Mail on Sunday)

‘Utterly compelling and Bythell has a Bennett-like eye for the amusing eccentricities of ordinary people … I urge you to buy this book and please, even at the risk of being insulted or moaned at, buy it from a real live bookseller.’ (Charlotte Heathcote Sunday Express)
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown – Scotland’s largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover’s paradise? Well, almost …

In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.


Shaun tells us about some of the books he reads, and this one intrigued me enough to get a copy. Shaun said it left him a bit shaken and with more questions than answers, so should be thought provoking

This is what Amazon says – Saramago guides readers through an immersive experience of a terrifying predicament.

A driver waiting at the traffic lights goes blind. An opthamologist tries to diagnose his distinctive white blindness, but is affected before he can read the textbooks. It becomes a contagion, spreading throughout the city. Trying to stem the epidemic, the authorities herd the afflicted into a mental asylum where the wards are terrorised by blind thugs. And when fire destroys the asylum, the inmates burst forth and the last links with a supposedly civilised society are snapped.

No food, no water, no government, no obligation, no order. This is not anarchy, this is blindness.


1 Comment

  1. Su

    The ‘Bookseller ‘ books do sound interesting but a bit too expensive for me. If I find them in a charity shop, unlikely but I can live in hope, I’ll buy them. I don’t fancy ‘Blindness ‘ at all! I like my books to be rather more upbeat, there’s enough unpleasantness in the real world.

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