A gift from a dear friend, this one-year diary by Shaun Bythell was a delightful read, perfect for reading a few entries or pages just before bed. I especially like the excerpts from George Orwell as introductions to each month, confirming that bookselling has not changed much in the past hundred years, other than gotten harder/more complex. Shaun’s struggles with staff, with business, and with customers are by turns poignant, thought-provoking, and hilarious.
I think one of his goals with this book was to dissuade anyone with a dream of running a bookshop, but in that he has utterly failed. His charming and loving descriptions of the shop, his friends, and his life make it sound very appealing, draughty house not withstanding. A holiday at The Open Book gets added to the lottery-wins-bucket-list.
Fate: as this was passed on to me, I think it makes sense to pass it further along.
6 – an author’s debut novel
8 – a book that has been or is being made into a film
12 – a book set somewhere you’ve never been (Wigtown)
18 – a book chosen for me by the other book clubber
22 – a memoir, journal, or book of letters
24 – a book by an author I’ve never read