The Diary of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Book Review

“The immersive capacity of a good novel to transport you into a different world is unique to the written word.”


Shaun Bythell, The Diary of a Bookseller
  • Paperback, 310 pages
  • Published September 13th, 2018
  • Nonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir
  • Goodreads rating: 3.75

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Diary of a Bookseller tells the stories from the life of bookseller Shaun Bythell. He writes about the interesting customers that walk through the doors of The Bookshop in Wigtown (very original name for.. a bookshop), its extravagant employees and everything that makes being a bookseller fascinating (and sometimes infuriating).

I absolutely loved this book. It’s funny, it’s well-written, it’s packed with sarcasm, it’s interesting and it WILL make you laugh out loud. It definitely makes me want to be a bookseller.

The book is written as a diary (well, duh) and is actually the autobiography of bookseller Shaun Bythell. The book covers a little over a year of his life as a bookseller. Bythell starts every new month with a quote from George Orwell’s Bookshop Memories (an essay that describes Orwell’s memories from his time working at a bookshop), which really made me want to read Bookshop Memories (add to cart).

If you want a hilarious book about selling books, I would definitely recommend reading The Diary of a Bookseller. I honestly can’t think of anyone who likes reading, who would not like this book.

The ONLY thing I didn’t like about it, is that it’s a very slow read. It’s only about 300 pages, but it took me a full month and a half (of unemployment, I might add) to finish it. It’s the perfect book to read out of in between other reads, but it’s not a book you can finish in one sitting.

Bythell wrote two more books, Confessions of a Bookseller and Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, which I added to my TBR faster than you can say “Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops” (though I can think of a million things you can do faster than saying that).

If you’re not sure if my definition of funny is the same as your definition of funny, you can just go to Shaun Bythell’s Goodreads page and read some of his quotes. I especially like the one about Dracula (easy to find, it’s printed on the back) 😁

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