Confessions of a Bookseller

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

An genuinely amusing account of the life of a book seller. I was really intrigued by the premise of this book and it did not disappoint -a day-by-day account of 365 days in the life of a bookseller - customers, books, sales. 
Written in diary form you get the odd, mundane anecdote about a day but there are plenty of interesting quirky moments. 
I’d recommend this book to anyone who is absolutely fascinated by secondhand book shops and books in general.
Was this review helpful?
I was vaguely annoyed by this book and yet really enjoyed it. It follows the day-to-day life of bookseller Bythell in the Scottish book town of Wigtown. He mostly complains the whole time, about people who buy books, about people who don’t, about people that try to sell their own used books, people he works with, etc. But there’s something very relatable and self-deprecating that I really enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
Confessions Of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell. 

Having read The Diary Of A Bookseller I just knew this would be a great read and I wasn’t wrong. I just loved it. Shaun has such a way with words. His writing style (and, I imagine, his personality!) is dry, witty and sarcastic yet full of heart and a real love for what he does. I loved learning all about the running of a second hand book shop, I loved the anecdotes, the customers, the villagers, the tourists, Captain the cat & the insights into Shaun’s personal life (although I’m sad about that) I love everything about it and it’s one of very few books that can make me laugh out  loud. Keep it coming Shaun! The Dairy/Confessions books should be an annual event. And possibly a soap opera ☺️ 

Thanks to Netgalley and to the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely love his books!  Laughed out loud many times at him, Granny and especially Nicky.  

Look forward to when it is published in Canada so I can order wine for our store.
Was this review helpful?
Follow up to his bestselling 'Diary of A Bookseller', the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown Shaun Bythell returns with another diary of a year in his life and that of the shop. Getting past the title (those of a certain vintage may recall the 'Confessions Of...' films starring Robin Askwith), this is another fascinating and enjoyable peek into running the bookshop. This time he has a new helper, a neurotic Italian he nicknamed Granny, who certainly seems to take to life in Wigtown with ease.

Part of the appeal of the book is Shaun's comments from real customers, many of which beggar belief yet having worked in a major book retailer can certainly recognise and sympathise with. He also gives insights into the book collecting world and what can make a book more valuable, for instance personalised bookplates.

Another winner and sure to be as successful as the first volume. Perhaps a film adaptation beckons? Robin Aswith maybe a bit too old though to play Shaun...
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  Anybody who has ever worked in retail or service can relate to some of the stories told in this book.  In fact, some of the oddball requests and characters the author meets proves he is a bookseller because he loves it.  Some of these folks would make the rest of us throw up our paws in frustration.
He is not much luckier in his staffing issues.  Between a colourful primary employee who doesn’t listen to him, berates him on their Facebook page and is unreliable and an eccentric and slightly made Italian employee whom he hired sight unseen, one wonders if the people are working with him or against him.
His bookshop is in rural Scotland where characters abound and it seems he is always putting up someone for the night- or longer.  It is waspishly funny and irreverent.  It is also a cautionary tale for anyone thinking of opening a second hand book store.  Four purrs and one paw up.
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars! I really enjoyed this book. Both for the glimpse of a Bookseller and for the way it was written. Shaun Bythell is dry, sarcastic, grumpy and st times rather bewildered. Both at his staff and his customers. Hahaha. Almost everyone is a character (can I say that if they’re real people?) especially Nicky and Granny. Tis a shame about Anna and Shaun. Their love story started out like well, those fictional love stories.

This doesn’t stop me from wanting to run and own a bookshop. Though it does make me wish for deeper pockets for it. Waaay deeper. Though I didn’t want the second hand books...maybe I can apprentice? Sigh.

I want to visit Wigtown even more now. I want to run The Open Book, buy a book at the Bookshop, attend the festival, meet the people there. Hope Shaun won’t mind the fangirling...I promise to buy a book!! Read this book! Go to Wigtown. Buy books!

Thank you @profile.books for this book! I really really enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest, independent review.

Another great book from Shaun! I love reading about the ups and downs of being a bookseller and owning your own bookshop. As a publisher, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what it entails to be a bookseller too, but Shaun's two books have taught me otherwise.

Amazon has killed the book trade for booksellers, publishers and authors, and I am grateful as to how honest Shaun is about this, and gets personal by listing the daily takings of the shop. I am shocked by how low it can be!

I love Shaun's sarcastic humour, and hope there will be another book in the future that will enlighten us further about working in the book trade!
Was this review helpful?
Well, the good thing is that I was entertained by Confessions Of A Bookseller. The bad thing is that my to be read list has grown dramatically! Confessions is written in diary format, which took me awhile to settle into. I was entranced by the observations on small town life and the bookselling trade.  Shaun Bythell brings the snark at times, and definitely uses humor well.  
3.5
I received my copy through NetGalley under no obligation.
Was this review helpful?
Confessions of a Bookseller is a follow up to Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell.  The first book was light and engaging, but this second book was a bit dreary in comparison. It was funny in places, but many areas were repetitive. I would recommend the first book of the series. Thank you to Net Galley and Profile books for the opportunity to read and comment of this book.
Was this review helpful?
I absolutely loved Confessions of a Bookseller. (Of course, I loved Diary of a Bookseller--the prequel--as well.) The author's dry wit, the quirky Wigtown residents and bookshop clientele, and Shaun's occasional personal revelations make this an infinitely readable, page-turning book. I was telling a friend about it, "it's a day-by-day account of running a second-hand bookshop in a Scotland town" really doesn't do it justice (which I told my friend, too!). Don't think just because it is a day-by-day account of running a second-hand bookshop in Scotland that it won't be funny, or interesting, or educational. For anyone who has ever considered running a bookshop, anywhere, this is required reading. It's also got a lovely travel memoir aspect to it, for those who have not been fortunate enough to visit Wigtown. Thanks so much to author for sharing this, and to #NetGalley and the publisher for a free galley in exchange for an honest review. I'm wondering if another year of Shaun's exploits is in the works! Can only hope!
Was this review helpful?
"Collecting books was clearly an important part of his life, and without bookshops there is little joy to be found in this pursuit. The serendipity of finding something you didn't know even existed, or asking a bookseller what they could recommend on a particular subject isn't really possible online yet..."

As someone whose job is running a bookshop, you'd think the last thing I wanna do is get home and read about someone running a bookshop, but Shaun Bythell's books are so funny that it's hard not to keep reading. In our shop we have; the girl who spilled a cup of coffee all over one of our tables, the people who come in and try to flog their unrelated self-published books to you and then get annoyed when you say you don't want it, or the person who once seriously asked why the Marxist books aren't in the Fiction section but I absolutely love hearing stories about customers and how strange they can be. As most of us know, half the fun of being a bookworm is talking about books, figuring out what other people are reading and why people like the books they do. Confessions of a Bookseller is just as brilliant as The Diary of a Bookseller. Definitely recommend!
Was this review helpful?
I received an ARC of this book thanks to Net Galley and publisher Profile Books in exchange for an honest review.

I must admit, when I first started reading this book I was skeptical. The format means that it is literally told through diary entries which I wasn't aware of, and this took a little getting used to. Even the most interesting person in the world will have dull bits in their diary, and these haven't really been edited out. It is also a sequel which again, I wasn't aware of before reading. There hasn't been a ton of effort put in to make it accessible to people who haven't read the first one so, while a lot of it you can deduce, there were quite a few mentions of people or things which I had no idea who or what they were. This was a bit jarring and it meant I almost DNFed this book immediately.

Having said that, I am very happy I persisted with it. There's a weird sort of comfort in reading this book and it turned out to be a unique and enjoyable experience. Something about the repetitiveness of the entries paired with the topic of running a second-hand bookshop makes for a very easy read. There were parts where I felt the author was being a little mean-spirited but, having worked as a bookseller myself, I could understand a lot of his points. I think this might have benefited from being told in themed chapters with chosen anecdotes but then, that would be a very different book.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the source material and for people who aren't looking for something too informative or brief. If you want an insight into running a small secondhand bookshop or are just interested in reading about someone's daily life, then this is the book for you.

Overall Rating: 3.5/5
Was this review helpful?
This book would have been better titled as “The Daily Sales Log of a Bookseller.” It does have some amusing sections and a bit of interesting info on various authors/books. Overall, though, it was much drier than expected. The biggest point that the author made was how little money is in bookshops, plus how critical online sales are. 

Although the book didn’t really work for me, I am looking forward to checking out the TV show based on it. That format will almost certainly take these daily sales figures and customer interactions and turn them into something much more entertaining.
Was this review helpful?
DNF-sorry. I couldn't get away with the tone of the writing, which is a shame because I thought I'd love this. Just not my cup of tea.
Was this review helpful?
Good book. Great read. Throughly enjoyed this book, it is the second book by Shaun Bythell I have read. 
Thank you to NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book
Was this review helpful?
The owner of a bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, gives us their take on the everyday life of a bookseller. Through the form of a journal, the author presents us with funny, and sometimes peculiar, things that happen in the everyday life of a bookseller.

I wanted to love this book very much. Unfortunately, the narration didn't aid towards that wish. The journal entries were filled with long, uninteresting descriptions, which covered for the best part of the whole book, leaving little room for the actually enjoyable stories.
Was this review helpful?
An incredibly fun read of what it's really like to be a bookseller.  Shaun has this wonderful wit that makes his comments laugh out loud funny, Can't  recommend this book enough. Read it and meet Shaun and the wonderful characters who visit his store in Wigtown
Was this review helpful?
I received a digital galley of this book from the publisher via Netgalley though it doesn't influence my review and all thoughts are my own.

This is Shaun's second book about being the owner of a secondhand bookstore in Scotland including mention of some fascinating books I'd like to check out, interesting bookish tendencies that I could relate to and the variety of people encountered working with the public.

I loved getting to read about various beautiful areas of Scotland, the liberal amounts of humor throughout the book and a bit of insight into just how much work goes into being the owner of a business as well as helping others when possible.

It was so much fun getting a taste of the annual Book Festival held in late September through Shaun's writing as well as the people he calls friends who come to visit during that time.

If you enjoy reading about life as a bookstore owner, the sometimes odd things customers say as well as a glimpse into life in Galloway, Scotland then you'll enjoy this book. I know I have and look forward to reading more by him some day!
Was this review helpful?
The Confessions of a Bookseller is the day by day activities of a bookseller  - Mr Bythell's bookshop is in Wigtown rural Scotland. Despite being annoyed by a number of his customers, Shaun Bythell is popular within his community and has a yearly round of dinners and fishing/hiking expeditions which he touches on lightly. 
The rhythm of the bookshop, with regular acquisitions and sales in person and online, is addictive. Shaun's pleasure in reading comes across well. Quite dry, and if you read his first book you will find this is familiar ground.
Was this review helpful?