A cankerous and darkly funny field guide to bookstore customers, from the Person Who Doesn’t Know What They Want (But Thinks It Might Have a Blue Cover) to the harried Parents Secretly After Free Childcare.
It does take all kinds and through the misanthropic eyes of a very grumpy bookseller, we see them all. There’s the Expert (with subspecies from the Bore to the Helpful Person), the Young Family (ranging from the Exhausted to the Aspirational), Occultists (from Conspiracy Theorist to Craft Woman).
Then there’s the Loiterer (including the Erotica Browser and the Self-Published Author), the Bearded Pensioner (including the Lyrca Clad), the The Not-So-Silent Traveller (the Whistler, Sniffer, Hummer, Farter, and Tutter), and the Family Historian (generally Americans who come to Shaun’s shop in Wigtown, Scotland).
Two bonus sections include Staff and, finally, Perfect Customer—all from Shaun Bythell (author of Confessions of a Bookseller), the funniest sell-and-tell observer in the house of books.
This is the perfect read for anyone who ever felt a bookstore was home. You’ve been spotted! Or have you?
“Shaun Bythell continues his seriocomic take on his profession . . . he spares no one.”
—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post
“Cheers to Shaun Blythell for this delightful taxonomy of bookstore customers and visitors.”
—Pamela Pescosolido, bookseller, The Bookloft
“Bythell is having fun and it’s infectious…”
—The Scotsman (UK)
“A hilarious new tome…”
—Daily Mail (UK)
“Virtuosic venting…pantomime misanthropy is tempered with bursts of sweetness in the secondhand bookseller’s latest dispatches from Wigtown [Scotland].”
“Seven Kinds of People You Find in Bookshops (a parody of the sort of self-help titles Bythell absolutely loathes), is a series of Orwellian-incisive character sketches.”
—The Critic (U.K.)
“Bythell distills the essence of his experience into a warm, witty and quirky taxonomy of the book-loving public.”
—The Week (UK)
“An inherently riveting, entertaining, and thought-provoking read from cover to cover . . . deftly written with humorously presented insights.”
—Midwest Book Review