The Diary of A Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

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) 😁

Hi Fellow Bookworms!

Hi Fellow Bookworms!

Welcome to the Caffeine and Curls Bookblog!

Let me give you a little introduction to my blog. First of all, Hi! My name is Alexandra and I’m a 23-year old Dutch bookworm. I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. When I was little, I devoured book after book after book. I remember going to the library with my mom and my little sister every single week and going home with 10 books each (because apparently that’s the limit and no, we really can’t make an exception..). So you may have already guessed it, but I wasn’t a very outgoing kid and I wasn’t much fun at parties (I’m still not). Things got even WORSE though, when I discovered the Harry Potter books. These books are also how I learned English. On my tenth birthday, I got gifted a plane ticket by my parents and they told me I could pick where we would fly to. Naturally, I wanted to go to Great Britain, because that’s where Harry Potter was! We ended up going to London for four days. I don’t remember much from that trip, but I do remember absolutely loving London. My mother still tells the stories of me talking to the restaurant and hotel staff all trip long and them being really impressed by how well I spoke English (although I’m sure it’s a little exaggerated, I was a shy ten-year-old, probably all I said was “yes, please”). I actually ended up going back to London on my twentieth birthday and doing all of the Harry Potter sightseeing, also with my mom, and if the COVID-19 measures allow it, I’m going back with my boyfriend just before Christmas. Anyway, that’s how I got into books, now on to how I got to wanting to start a blog.

I graduated from college in July of 2020. After graduating, I got a job offer from one of the biggest Dutch companies in my field of work, as a kind of Account Manager (mixed with some other tasks and responsibilities). I took the job, of course. I was 22 years old and I had one of the biggest accounts in the area, a team of 25 people who reported to me directly, a job that wasn’t entirely defined yet, in the middle of the pandemic and with no support from the company, whatsoever. Needless to say, it didn’t go well. I told them I needed a little help and guidance with some parts, because I had no experience and they neglected to give it to me. Eventually, after almost a year of giving it my everything, I quit. They were flabbergasted, because I was doing “such a good job”, but I was simply too tired to continue.

They were flabbergasted, because I was doing “such a good job”, but I was simply too tired to continue.

I took a break for a few weeks (which included two weeks of quarantine, because I got tested positive for COVID-19) and contacted my old employer from college. I went back to working in the Mexican restaurant that had been like my second home for four years during college. It has now been almost four months and I still work there. I go to work every day with a big smile on my face.

Since I only work 20 hours a week right now, I’ve had some extra time on my hands. Which means that I’ve had much more time to read lately. I’m already at 125% of my Goodreads Reading Challenge (check out the link to my Goodreads profile at the top of the page). I started reviewing some of the books I’ve read and a few weeks ago, I joined Bookstagram (link to my Instagram profile also at the top of the page). I’ve been having so much fun in the book community that I wanted to be a part of it and contribute to it even more. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is why I started this blog. I want to spend my day reading and writing about what I’ve read and then take pictures of the books I’ve read and share all of this with you.

I’m hoping that (one day) I will be able to make a living out of writing, so that I can spend my days doing something that I love and will never get tired of.

Now that you know the melodramatic story of how I got to starting a blog, there’s not much left for me to say. I’m so excited to get started on this blog and read and write about books to my heart’s content. I’m hoping that (one day) I will be able to make a living out of writing, so that I can spend my days doing something that I love and will never get tired of.

English is not my first language, so you’ll have to excuse me if I make a spelling or grammar mistake or use a word wrong every once in a while. Feel free to correct me on it, so I don’t make the same dumb mistake 23 times 😉

All of my Social Media Accounts are linked at the top and the bottom of the page, so feel free to follow me or contact me through there! Thank you so much for reading and I hope to see you again soon!

Love, Alexandra (Alex)