Cover Image: Confessions of a Bookseller

Confessions of a Bookseller

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Member Reviews

I appreciate having had an opportunity to read and review this book. The appeal of this particular book was not evident to me, and if I cannot file a generally positive review I prefer simply to advise the publisher to that effect and file no review at all.
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A lovely sequel to The Diary of a Bookseller, and as with the first, Shaun's light-hearted humor and wit shine through. 

I think as a reader of many, many books. I have often thought (as I'm sure many of us do!) that it would be wonderful to run a bookshop. What Shaun does wonderfully, through funny anecdotes, is show us that it is not a piece of cake. 

I would recommend this to anyone that has ever fantasized about running a bookshop!
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This is the sequel to Diary of a bookseller. I didn't enjoy this one as much because it didn't feel quite as light hearted though it was still funny and witty.
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Unfortunately I just couldn't get into this story. I enjoyed the writing well enough but there was not enough of a plot for my liking.
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Shaun Bythell owns an antiquarian bookshop, in Scotland’s book town, Wigtown.  This is Shaun’s account of running that shop. This humorous book looks at; the shop, the people who work for it, the people who shop there, and the community that surrounds the shop.  It is an exploration of a life lived surrounded by; books, beautiful scenery, and the eccentric individuals who love these things.  It looks at the pains and pleasures of running a bookshop. Above all, it is a painfully honest picture of the author’s life.
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I enjoyed this sequel to Diary of a Bookseller. I enjoyed hearing more about the people who were featured in the first book and getting a first-hand look at what it's like to operate a book store. As someone who loves to read, I've often fantasized about owning a book store, but Bythell has convinced me it's not as much fun as I'd imagined it would be.
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Follow up to The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, owner of The Bookshop in Wigstown, the largest second hand bookshop in Scotland. We see first hand to the ups and downs of being a second hand bookseller, with a special light on the affect a certain online retailer has on small businesses. I love how blunt and wry Shaun is when it comes to customers and their questions and requests. Having worked briefly in a bookshop myself, you'd think I'd be well versed on some people's stupidity ('I'm looking for a book, can't remember the name but it has a blue cover') but reading this I couldn't believe the added cheekiness that comes with selling in a second hand bookshop! Haggling on already fair prices, spending hours on in shop without buying anything, swapping price tags on books. 

The book is a diary that has an entry of some sorts for every day of the year, including the number of customers and the till taking at the end of the day. Not every day is a thrilling adventure, we see the every day mundane and regular chores (buying and listing stock, cleaning the shop, posting the book club books) as well glance behind the scenes at the Wigstown Festival (I particularly liked the story of the picture that Shaun bought years before at auction). 

The stars of the book however are the people. We see the return of part time staff Nicky and Flo, with the new addition of the Italian woman that agrees to come and work for bed and board, nicknamed Granny as well as Shaun of course and Captain the cat. The book is funny but I found it tinged with sadness at times, which just added to the human element of the story and highlighting the fact there's people behind small businesses. Like most people who read and enjoy this book, I hope to one day visit the shop in person.
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Being your usual booknerd, loyal supporter of indie bookshops, fan of dry humor, and text book introvert, it came as no surprise that I enjoyed Shaun Bythell's first book "Diary of a Bookseller", and was very much looking forward to "Confessions of a Bookseller" to find out more about Captain, the fine folks of Wigtown, to get some more book recommendations (I bought 3 books after reading the diary), and more #FoodieFriday and bizarre (in a most excellent way) conversations with Nicky. Aye.

Confessions didn't disappoint. It's one of those books where you feel like you're reading about friends you haven't seen in a while: some super nice, some a little peculiar, some a bit rude, all unique characters you can laugh and cry with... and complain about customers and Amazon with ;-). Oh, and the cover is fab (illustration by Bill Bragg). In the February "chapter", Shaun talks about libraries not taking away business from booksellers, as many readers who get to know and love a certain book via a public library, are very likely to buy that book for themselves. YES, and not only libraries, but also #netgalley, apparently. You guessed it, I bought my own copy of "Confessions of a Bookseller" from my local indie bookstore shortly after reading it. 

A book for those who love books, independent bookshops and bookstore cats...and those of us who need some laugh-out-loud witty reading material until they can get their butts to Wigtown themselves. 

#ConfessionsOfAbookseller #NetGalley
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Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for the early copy!

I recommend checking out this well-done nonfiction novel!
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An entertaining read about life in a bookshop - perfect for bibliophiles everywhere. Full of heart and humour.
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A hilarious insight into the weird and wonderful world of bookselling. Fortunately I did not recognise myself in any of the stories! I'll be recommending this to my fellow bibliophiles.
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This wasn't as good as Diary of... the tone was darker, there was less comic relief and the shock of the low sales had passed. There's a lot that could be covered in a book like this, what sells, why, the trends of that year (for example, I'd read pages of his experience with EL James and Dan Brown donations!) A lot is lost because of the gap between writing and publishing, which they seem to want to disguise. The new "characters" were less jovial and the jokes as their expense seemed more cruel.
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I enjoy books like this and this one was just as good as any other I have read, It was a great read and some amazing laugh out loud moments which I am giggling about just writing this sentence.

If you love a dry wit comedy about the day in the life of a bookseller then this is the book for you it's a fun and interesting and a really easy read and perfect for any book lover.
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Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is a first-hand account of what it's like to be a bookseller in a town that is known as book town Wigtown Scotland.  I enjoyed Shaun's honestly about his work as a bookseller.  And reading this book has me wanting to visit Wigtown.  To see both Shaun's bookshop and to see the town itself. 

 I received a copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
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I visited Scotland last May and really wanted to stop in to wander in Wigtown, especially after grabbing Bythell's first book, "Diary of a Bookseller" (where I first heard of the town). Unfortunately it was not meant to be (next time). I suppose reading Bythell's "Confessions of a Bookseller" was almost the next best thing. This is a humorous look at managing a second-hand bookstore and experiencing all sorts of characters (locals and visitors) through the eyes of the author. A lovely light-hearted and heart-warming book. Thank you Netgalley and publisher for the ARC.
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I really enjoyed a great many things about this book. Characters were fleshed out and the plot was well spaced. Some of the secondary storylines could've used a bit more page space but all in all an enjoyable read!
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I was really exited when NetGalley allowed me to review the second diary of Shaun. I really enjoyed the first and I was impatiently waiting for this one to be published, so once again I can enjoy the life of a bookseller in Wigtown.

The book as solid as the first one, I was able to pick up, relive, and continue my imaginary life in Wigtown. Having said that, unfortunately I felt that the book doesn’t have a “punch” compared to the first one. The power of surprise, what the first book had, is gone for the second one for me as I was already familiar with the environment and life of the bookshop and Shaun. This is not a big thing, but I missed the excitement what I felt when I was reading the first book.

Nonetheless, this an excellent continuation and I’m looking forward for his new book if there is going to be a third part. My next book is going to be The Master and Margareta what Shaun enjoyed in his book, so I can still be connected with the book for a little longer.
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Second visit to the Bookshop, a delight for readers.

"At 2pm, an elderly man asked the most superb question: 'Can you answer questions?'  The only two logical responses to that can be 'Yes' or complete silence."

'Diary of a Bookseller' was an utterly enchanting, hilarious and illuminative behind-the-scenes in the world of a bookshop and the people who work there. We were introduced to the real-life owner (and protagonist in his own writing), Shaun, his staff, his customers, his daily life and tasks.

In this second, we return to Shaun's world, though it isn't necessarily a continuation, and can be read as a standalone. 

Starting each month with a passage from a centuries-old novel about a bookshop, we see the similarities (and stark differences) to today's world of books, how books are viewed. A few times it caught me out and I thought these passages WERE Bythell! 

Set up as a year-long diary, Bythell takes us from the cold of January and the days of few customers, the trials of online selling and posting, the travelling to potential sellers' houses in all weathers, to the madness of summer book fairs, and the eccentricities of staff and customers alike.

With dry wit, we get to see Shaun's day-to-day struggles with humanity in all its amusing or frustrating forms:
"A customer came to the counter and asked if we had any miniature books so I directed him to the cabinet labelled 'Miniature Books'. He looked at it, then back at me and said, 'Yes, I've already looked through that.' This often happens - people appear to imagine that we have a secret stash of 'the good stuff' tha t we don't really want to sell."

His own sardonic take on life is also refreshing and hard not to smile at:
"As I was pricing books up, I found a bookplate in an early set of Dickens with the name Fanny Strutt on it. From some reason I imagined the Fanny Strugg being a 1950s American dance craze."

His co-workers could be characters written for a book, lots of idiosyncrasies and warm flaws/quirks between them, including the European summer worker who could fit right into 'A Short History of Tractors'. Regular customers are also welcome comic material. Even the one-offs who try to haggle or who ask ridiculous questions.

Personally, as a librarian and book lover for all my life, I found the insight into the world of a seller of books deeply interesting. The stats we see snippets of - daily customers, takings, stock prices, how books sell online - it's a glimpse into a world I know from the other side. And it did make me sad seeing how it's likely that shop owners like Bythell are treading water and struggling to stay float in a world of big corporation competition, with his knowledge and passion for the printed word.

Bythell's personal life is referenced throughout, he doesn't shy away from showing us glimpses of the pains in his own world, the heartache, the enjoyable hobbies and friendships outside of the shop. Seeing this aspect made him a real person, more than the observer of human foibles the book sometimes encourages you to see.

I'd love to think Bythell will come up with a third volume of a diarised bookseller's life; he's writing in changing times and his perspective could well be one of the only artefacts showing future generations what an actual bookshop was like, one day far in the future.

For any book lover. Reader. Fan of the high street over online shopping.

With thanks to Netgalley for the sample reading copy.
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After reading Diary of a Bookseller and thoroughly enjoying it, I knew I couldn't pass this next book up. It is just as quirky, funny and full of "bookish" stories as the first. You will want to visit the bookstore for yourself by the time you finish the read. If you work in a bookstore, consider yourself bookish in any way or love to frequent bookstores, you will want to pick up this read for your enjoyment.
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Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in advance of publication. It is what you might call a slow burner and I have currently come to a sticking point where I, not the writer, ran out of steam. I hope to resume reading this book in the future.
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