Book Review: Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

Earlier this year I raved about The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell (read the review here). When my aged mother came to stay for a few days in the summer, she was browsing our bookshelves to find something to read. I recommended the Salt Path by Raynor Winn (read the review here) and I also mentioned how much I had enjoyed the Diary of a Bookseller. My mother obviously remembered that I had mentioned it as she sent me a copy for my birthday. I took it to the Free Little Library on the next street and was pleased to see that it had gone by the following morning.

Shaun has now written and published a sequel and I’m pleased to say that it is as good as the first one.

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Once again it covers the trials and tribulations of running a small business, which is never easy, even more so in these times of austerity. He doesn’t shy away from some of the difficulties in his life at the time, although you know that the way he talks about his staff is very tongue-in-cheek. He still isn’t a fan of Amazon, which isn’t too surprising. In the last couple of years I have tried to use Amazon less and less, and have definitely become a regular in our local bookshop.

After reading his two books I feel like I know him and his staff (Nicky, Flo and Granny), along with his spoilt cat. On our recent cycling trip around Northern Ireland we looked at stopping off in Wigtown on our way home, but it was a Sunday and justifiably he would be closed.

I bought this book in hardback on Friday afternoon and finished it Sunday morning, and I felt slightly sad when I came to the end. Not because the end of the book is sad, but because the book was finished. Indeed, the epilogue is optimistic for the future, which is good to hear. I still can’t join the random book club though.

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