#NonficNov Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell


Title: Confessions of a Bookseller

Author: Shaun Bythell

Published: November 1st 2019, Profile Books

Status: Read November 2019, courtesy Allen & Unwin

My Thoughts:

Last year I picked up Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, the proprietor of a small bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, but as I was on hiatus I didn’t post a review. To be honest I didn’t find it particularly riveting, but it certainly seemed to capture the reading public’s interest.

Confessions of a Bookseller is presented in the same vein as the first book with a dated entry briefly detailing Shaun’s day in the bookshop, or elsewhere, as well as totals that reveal sales, customer visits, and online orders received and filled. It’s an eye-opening view of the workings of a used/antiquarian book selling business in today’s tough market, a self described curmudgeon, Shaun most often bemoans the vagaries of book buyers, and sellers, the tyranny of Amazon, and the

The eccentric staff of the bookshop includes Nicky, a 40 something year old with a penchant for expired foods, who essentially does as she pleases, and ‘Granny’, an Italian intern of sorts, working in the store for bed and board. Sadly Shaun and Anna’s relationship has ended, but neither the house nor store are ever empty, with an endless stream of tradespeople converting a room in the back of a store into a ‘bothy’ (a spare room for lodgers), friends, and guests in the lead up to the Wigtown Festival.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, the bookshop attracts an assorted group of quirky regulars, including the Mole-Man, Sandy the tattooed pagan, and an old man in a cowboy hat who lurks in the erotica section, as well as tourists and customers who range from the delightful to the querulous, providing quite a few chuckles.

Unfortunately for me the humour doesn’t quite offset the rather dreary minutiae and repetition, so I’m left feeling rather ambivalent about Confessions of a Bookseller, much as I did the Diary of a Bookseller.


Available from Allen & Unwin

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Profile Books


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurel-Rain Snow
    Nov 03, 2019 @ 04:26:59

    I love books about bookshops…and I must confess that I also love Amazon! Mostly because I no longer have regular transportation to the bookstores in the area. But I will still shop in them when I can.

    Thanks for the great review.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Monika @ Lovely Bookshelf
    Nov 03, 2019 @ 08:03:08

    This sounds like something I might like to try, but I tend to get bogged down by repetition and minutiae. So maybe this will be a library book for me. Thanks for the heads up!

    Liked by 1 person


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  4. Liz Dexter
    Nov 05, 2019 @ 08:46:41

    I did really enjoy these but I think he’s mined all he can from the topic now!

    Liked by 1 person


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  8. Sue Legg
    Nov 22, 2019 @ 05:08:12

    I have just finished The Diary & simply thought it was great. Witty, quirky, ‘odd’ folk from all walks of life, the comments from people calling in, battering Amazon…..the list goes on. I don’t laugh very often when reading but this was great crack. Even made me feel guilty about purchasing books on line & checking for the best price! However, would I read another along the same theme & find myself spoiling the first impression so favorably? I think not. One is the best.

    Liked by 1 person


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