The Diary of a Bookseller

by Shaun bythell | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1782833633 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingyorkshire-lasswing of Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on 10/29/2020
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingyorkshire-lasswing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, October 29, 2020
Thank you for picking up this book and logging on to the website, I hope you enjoy reading it, when you have finished it please make a journal entry so that I know what you have decided to do with the book next. If you decide to join BookCrossing (it’s free and completely private your e-mail address is never given out) please say yorkshire-lass sent you. Happy BookCrossing!

Google Overview
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

'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.

A fun book to dip into, nothing too deep but very entertaining in parts.

Journal Entry 2 by wingyorkshire-lasswing at Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, October 29, 2020

Released 1 yr ago (10/30/2020 UTC) at Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom


Going to a BC friend as a birthday gift, thought you might enjoy this, a fun book to dip into :-)

Journal Entry 3 by wingPlum-crazywing at Brighouse, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 4, 2020
Thank you so much for the wonderful birthday package which included this book. I know this shop quite well as it's in a neck of the woods I spend as much time as possible. Wonder if I'll recognise any of the characters.... :o)

Journal Entry 4 by wingPlum-crazywing at Brighouse, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, April 21, 2021
This is an amusing look at the life of a book shop owner. Shaun Bythell is said owner & being a misanthrope extraordinaire - his words – dealing with customers might not seem the ideal career choice for him. Indeed, some of the comments he makes regarding his customers might be classed by some as offensive but I liked his sarcastic tone (which just managed to avoid being malicious but let's be honest, some of his customers were themselves quite rude) & it often had me smiling, though not laughing out loud.

While I was repairing a broken shelf in the crime section, I overheard an elderly customer confusing E. L. James and M. R. James while discussing horror fiction with her friend. She is either going to be pleasantly surprised or deeply shocked when she gets home with the copy of Fifty Shades of Grey she bought.

It's a book perfect for dipping in & out of being written in a diary format. Each month begins with a quote from George Orwell’s "Bookshop Memories" & for each day, the online orders, books found, amount of takings & no of customers is recorded. Along with notes on the general day-to-day running of a shop & the problems incurred, any special events happening are noted, & of course, any customer who is memorable for whatever reason.

The first customer of the day was an Australian woman whose inability to pronounce the letter T left me confused as to whether she was asking for "Noddy books" or "naughty books". It turned out, after I’d shown her to the erotica section, that she was after Enid Blytons.

But it’s not just customers who give him a headache, Nicky, part-time staff, is a law unto herself (she'd drive me mad!) & then there's the threat from Amazon who can vastly discount book prices & it was interesting to hear about this from a bookseller's perspective.

Woman: "I was in your shop during the book festival and I found a book about old ruined gardens of Scotland in your new books section. Could you tell me what the title is?"

Me: "No, I am afraid not. I know the book you’re after and would be happy to sell you a copy, though".

Woman: "Why won’t you tell me the title?"

Me: "Because as soon as I do you’ll just go and buy it on Amazon."

Woman: "No, I’ll send my mother round to pick it up from you."

Me: "Oh good, in that case can I take your credit card details and your mother's name? I'll put it to one side once you’ve paid for it."

At this point she hung up.

Overall I really liked this book but I have to confess much of my enjoyment comes from a love of Wigtown & the surrounding area. Thanks to covid, over the last year or so I've not been able to spend a good chunk of my year there so reading about places & people I know…or know of…has helped fill the hole. I must admit I've not been in "The Book Shop" for a couple of years but now I'm itching to spot the things I’ve read about ….& of course I will make sure I buy something. :o)

Reserved now for a bookring within UK/Europe

Journal Entry 5 by wingPlum-crazywing at Brighouse, West Yorkshire United Kingdom on Sunday, May 2, 2021
Bookring "Rules" & Posting Order

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Please aim to send on within 4 - 6 weeks & journal it again when you've read it to let us know what you thought of it.

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Please journal the date it's posted, keeping within 6 weeks of receiving it. However...please don't get stressed out about how long you take to read it, if you need to keep it longer just make a JE to let us know -just don't forget about it completely!

Finally, I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did.


kiki66 (Germany)
rodespringbal (Belgium)
Fifna (Netherlands)
Icila (France)
Florence71 (France)
Arvores (Portugal)
Maria-Nunes (Portugal)
Bookworm-lady (Spain)
Loopypondskater (Ireland)
Katisha50 (UK)
Sparkish (UK)

.....& home to me

Journal Entry 6 by wingPlum-crazywing at by post, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Released 7 mos ago (5/4/2021 UTC) at by post, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases


On the way to Germany to start the booking....while I'm on my way to Wigtown! 😁

Journal Entry 7 by kiki66 at Gauting, Bayern Germany on Friday, May 14, 2021
..and here it is.. thanks you for sending it my way, Plum-crazy!

And enjoy your trip :-)

Journal Entry 8 by kiki66 at Gauting, Bayern Germany on Tuesday, May 25, 2021
Having finished this today I have somehow two opinions.. I liked the style, day after day, some things always the same, some different. Just like life. And his sarcastic tone was quite right! Some customers deserved it.
I liked a lot of the characters though Nicky sometimes was.. strange ?!

I am always a bit suspicious when there is "laughing-out-loud novel" written on the book cover because it seldom is (for me).
Which happened here again. There were some amusing comments, some amusing customers, but laugh out loud.. Never.

What really annoyed me was the constant mentioning of the problems Amazon causes and the need to work with them. I think we all understand the set of problems they cause so mentioning them a little less would have been quite enough.

I must admit that I do not know most of the authors mentioned.. This might be because of his dislike of fiction. Or my different taste in books.

All in all I got the impression that his shop runs quite well.. Despite all the obstacles.
And when I happen to be in Scotland (whenever that will be) I most certainly will have a peep into the shop AND buy a book, I promise!

Journal Entry 9 by kiki66 at Gauting, Bayern Germany on Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Released 6 mos ago (6/3/2021 UTC) at Gauting, Bayern Germany


On its way to Belgium!

Happy Travelling...

Journal Entry 10 by rodespringbal at Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Saturday, June 19, 2021
Thank you very much. The book arrived safely with me, with the lovely labels inside. Much appreciated

Journal Entry 11 by rodespringbal at Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Sunday, July 25, 2021
It was okay to read. I can't say that it was too enjoyable though. The diary entries after some time have become repetitive to me. They sounded more like bookkeeping of what is in and what is out. It it not easy to write a book in the diary format without falling into the trap of repeating yourself. I got up, opened the shop, Nicky was late. How very often did those words recur.
I hope others like it better.

Journal Entry 12 by rodespringbal at Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium on Sunday, July 25, 2021

Released 4 mos ago (7/25/2021 UTC) at Roosdaal, Vlaams-Brabant / Brabant Flamant Belgium


Up to the Netherlands... Safe travels

Journal Entry 13 by wingFifnawing at Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Saturday, September 4, 2021
Arrived safely today thanks rodespringbal! I'm glad it wasn't lost - I've been having a few issues with the postal service lately, so it wouldn't have surprised me. Looking forward to reading this!

Journal Entry 14 by wingFifnawing at Voorburg, Zuid-Holland Netherlands on Monday, October 11, 2021
I'm in two minds about this book. I enjoyed the humour, the wry observations and the general insights into the book trade. At the same time it did become rather repetitive and by October I felt myself flagging. And annoying as customers can be (I know from experience) I did feel he was rather rude to some of them. But on the whole I enjoyed - thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 15 by wingFifnawing at La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, Pays de la Loire France on Monday, October 18, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (10/18/2021 UTC) at La Chapelle-sur-Erdre, Pays de la Loire France


On its way to Icila

Journal Entry 16 by wingIcilawing at Nantes, Pays de la Loire France on Friday, October 22, 2021
Thank you Fifna, the book arrived safely.
On the cover there is the same cat as the one who wanders everyday in my garden.

Journal Entry 17 by wingIcilawing at Nantes, Pays de la Loire France on Tuesday, November 23, 2021
I agree with all your entries. Like Plum-Crazy "much of my enjoyment comes from a love of Wigtown & the surrounding area." I was suddenly looking forward to go there when covid permits, alas, I read at the end that I'm too late. Tourists have already discovered this lost paradise.

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