Shaun runs Wigtown’s The Bookshop, the largest second-hand bookshop in Scotland set in its only officially designated ‘National Book Town’. When not working amongst The Bookshop’s mile of shelving, Shaun’s hobbies include eavesdropping on customers, uploading book-themed re-workings of Sugarhill Gang songs to YouTube and shooting Amazon Kindles in the wild.
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Books by Shaun
Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops
In twenty years behind the till in The Bookshop, Wigtown, Shaun Bythell has met pretty much every kind of customer there is – from the charming, erudite and deep-pocketed to the eccentric, flatulent and possibly larcenous.
In Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops, he distils the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public. So, step inside to meet the crafty Antiquarian, the shy and retiring Erotica Browser and gormless yet strangely likeable shop assistant Student Hugo – along with much loved bookseller favourites like the passionate Sci-Fi Fan, the voracious Railway Collector and the ever-elusive Perfect Customer.
The Diary of a Bookseller
Profile, August 2017
Shaun Bythell, owner of Wigtown’s The Bookshop, charts the highs and lows of a year in the life of a man passionate and knowledgeable about books, struggling to make a living in rural Britain in the age of Amazon. He travels the country in search of rare books, strikes deals, tries to manage gloriously eccentric members of staff, deals with awkward tourists and loyal customers, and muses on the differences between bookselling now and in 1936 when George Orwell was writing his ‘Bookshop Memories’. It’s a glimpse into a life spent amongst shelves, negotiating his way between books, booklovers and customers asking where the café is…
Praise for Diary of a Bookseller
Wonderfully entertaining –Observer
Charming, darkly comic memoir…Warm, witty and laugh-out-loud funny, this gently meandering tale of British eccentricity will stay long in the memory. –Daily Mail
Bythell’s diary is one of the funniest and most honest books you’ll read this year…a real treat –Irish Times
Confessions of a Bookseller
Profile, August 2019
In his follow up to Diary of a Bookseller, Shaun Bythell documents another year in his Wigtown Bookshop.
With more than a mile of shelving, real log fires in the shop and the sea lapping nearby, the shop should be an idyll for bookworms.
Unfortunately, Shaun also has to contend with bizarre requests from people who don’t understand what a shop is, home invasions during the Wigtown Book Festival and Granny, his neurotic Italian assistant who likes digging for river mud to make poultices.
The Diary of a Bookseller (soon to be a major TV series) introduced us to the joys and frustrations of a life lived in books. Sardonic and sympathetic in equal measure, Confessions of a Bookseller will reunite readers with the characters they’ve come to know and love.
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