Review: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops by Shaun Bythell

Title: Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops

Author: Shaun Bythell

Published: 5th November 2020, Profile Books

Status: Read December 2020 courtesy Allen & Unwin


My Thoughts:

Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops is a short book, not quite 150 pages long, from Scotland’s best known bookseller Shaun Bythell, author of the popular titles The Diary of a Bookseller and Confessions of a Bookseller.

Bythell opines there are seven kinds of customers that frequent his second hand bookstore, each of which he labels with a Latin genus, and then breaks down into species. He is careful to admit these are none too generous stereotypes, generalisations that contain a core of truth but lack nuance.

His tongue in cheek taxonomy includes the Genus: Peritus Species: Homo Odiosus capable of lengthy lectures on subjects he (often wrongly) believes he is an expert in, and which tend to offend; the Genus: Homo qui desidet Species: Homo Qui Opera Erotica Legit (Erotica Browser) who seem to be intent on an innocuous book which is later revealed to have been ‘recovered’; and Genus: Viator non tacitus which includes Species that whistle, sniff, hum, fart, and tutter.

Bythell’s acerbic sense of humour borders on the supercilious at times, but I think anyone who has worked in retail will relate somewhat. Booklovers will hope that they fit in none of these seven categories and instead are of the rare ‘Bonus’ Genus: Cliens perfectus (Perfect Customer).

A quick easy read, Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops would be a nice holiday gift for fans of Bythell, or bookstores.


Available from Allen & Unwin RRP AUD$14.99

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn
    Dec 13, 2020 @ 09:29:08

    Sounds like a lot of fun.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Mystica
    Dec 13, 2020 @ 16:44:23

    I read just one of his books and loved it. Could never find the others!

    Liked by 1 person


  3. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? | book'd out
  4. Izabel Brekilien
    Dec 15, 2020 @ 20:13:09

    As a librarian, I’m interested – I’ll be comparing notes, lol 😉

    Liked by 1 person


  5. BookerTalk
    Dec 20, 2020 @ 05:55:15

    I loved the way he described his customers in Diary of a Bookseller. You could certainly recognise the types (especially the so called experts)

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Carla
    Dec 21, 2020 @ 13:28:55

    Great review Shelleyrae. This sounds like a fun read.

    Liked by 1 person


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