Title: Confessions of a Bookseller
Author: Shaun Bythell
Pages: 328 Pages
Publisher: Profile Books
“Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?” 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.
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.
I loved The Diary of a Bookseller so when I heard a second book was coming out I was quick to buy it. Less quick to read it but quick to buy it. It was full of the same type of funny stories we found in the first book, the same colourful cast of people in Shaun Bythell’s life along with some new faces and the same old difficulties that come with working in the second hand book trade. Quite frankly, this book was like a hug.
I really hope that Shaun continues to write about the witty things that happen throughout his days. I, for one, would love another instalment.
Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is available now.
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Early one autumn afternoon in pursuit of an elusive book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, or forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year-long voyage through her books, forsaking new purchases in order to get to know her own collection again.
A book which is left on a shelf for a decade is a dead thing, but it is also a chrysalis, packed with the potential to burst into new life. Wandering through her house that day, Hill’s eyes were opened to how much of that life was stored in her home, neglected for years. Howard’s End is on the Landing charts the journey of one of the nation’s most accomplished authors as she revisits the conversations, libraries and bookshelves of the past that have informed a lifetime of reading and writing.
Howards End is on the Landing is a charming book which invites you to visit Susan Hill’s personal library along with hearing some of her fascinating memories from the world of literature.
It is really a celebration about the love of good storytelling and it is one that I personally found interesting. I, myself, know that I have encountered a good book if I hold some strong memory that I associate with the experience of reading it for the first, second, third, etc, time. I think that literature has the power to do that and I think that the association between book and memory is one that Susan Hill is trying to impart on the reader.
I won’t lie, sometimes that stories did get a bit lost and slow; they weren’t all equally enjoyable but the overall love of literature jumps off the page. One thing is for certain, I would love to have a really good mooch among Susan Hill’s bookshelves.
Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill is available now.