Given the format of this book – the daily diary over a year of a second-hand bookseller – there should be much repetition in “The Diary of a Bookseller”. And there is. But one of the things that gives Shaun Bythell’s book its quality is that this never gets in the way; he handles it very well, and repetition becomes an attribute, a textual parallel to his own experience as a bookseller.
There are some very funny moments, little vignettes from members of the public – and his staff! – who consistently demonstrate just how annoying and stupid a bunch we can be!
I was only disappointed by the penultimate sentence – but you need to read the book to appreciate that. No peeking!
As a writer and lover of books and literature, it’s brilliant that there are still people like Bythell who are fighting the good fight. Our gratitude should go out to all booksellers really, and perhaps especially the independents as they wage their probably unwinnable war against the on-line giants.