'At its heart, this book is a furious missive from the frontline of the David and Goliath battle between small business owners and the accumulated forces of late capitalism. If you had any remaining doubts about the evils of Amazon, this book will lay them to rest ... Bythell is a true believer, who makes a passionate case for the importance of books - real, paper-and-board books, yellowed by time and handled, smudged and annotated by generations. This is, after all, a man who shot a Kindle and wall-mounted it - and after reading his wonderfully entertaining book, I'm just about ready to follow suit.' - Observer
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop, Wigtown - Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop. It contains 100,000 books, spread over a mile of shelving, with twisting corridors and roaring fires, and all set in a beautiful, rural town by the edge of the sea. A book-lover's paradise? Well, almost ...
In these wry and hilarious diaries, Shaun provides an inside look at the trials and tribulations of life in the book trade, from struggles with eccentric customers to wrangles with his own staff, who include the ski-suit-wearing, bin-foraging Nicky. He takes us with him on buying trips to old estates and auction houses, recommends books (both lost classics and new discoveries), introduces us to the thrill of the unexpected find, and evokes the rhythms and charms of small-town life, always with a sharp and sympathetic eye.
Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, and also one of the organisers of the Wigtown Festival.