Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Una vita da libraio” as Want to Read:
Una vita da libraio
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Una vita da libraio

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  6,531 ratings  ·  1,254 reviews
Un paesino di provincia sulla costa scozzese e una deliziosa libreria dell'usato. Centomila volumi spalmati su oltre un chilometro e mezzo di scaffali, in un susseguirsi di stanze e stanze zeppe di erudizione, sogni e avventure. Un paradiso per gli amanti dei libri? Be', più o meno…
Dal cliente che entra per complimentarsi dell'esposizione in vetrina, senza accorgersi che l
Paperback, Stile libero Extra, 384 pages
Published March 6th 2018 by Einaudi (first published September 28th 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Una vita da libraio, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Maria It’s the number of books that came in as online orders that they were able to actually find in the shop. Took me a while to figure it out too.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,531 ratings  ·  1,254 reviews

Sort order
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Call me crazy but I've always wondered when I die what will happen to all my books. My house is overflowing with them. Nobody else reads them but me. The Diary of a bookseller made me think I'm not so crazy after all. It appears there are way more crazier people in the world. It also appears most of them frequent this book shop.

The funny stories abound with a daily summary of a day in the life of a bookseller in Scotland's largest 2nd hand book shop in the charming little village of Wigtown whe
Amalia Gavea
These are the experiences of Shaun Bythell, a bookseller in Wigtown in beautiful Scotland, in diary format. The working days, the interesting customers (problematic or not), the co-workers, the struggle to support a second-hand bookshop (the second largest in the country) in the era of technology, everything that makes bookselling such a fascinating and exhausting profession is included in this book. Despite the positive reviews and my high expectations, I have to say that I didn’t enjoy reading ...more
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-books
I am always a sucker for books about books so I knew I had to read this as soon as I saw the title and the cover. So glad I did!

The bookseller of the title is the author himself, Shaun Bythell. He lives in Wigtown, Scotland where this beautiful bookshop actually exists. How I would love to go and see it! Shaun has a rather snarky sense of humour which had me laughing out loud. I also found myself doing that totally annoying thing of reading bits out loud to anyone who happened to be nearby at th
Helene Jeppesen
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I’ve read so far this year! This is a book for all book lovers or people who secretly wish to work in a bookstore.
Shaun Bythell owns The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, and with this book he shares his diary from 2014 in which he writes about everything going on in the store as well as in Wigtown. I had to get used to his tone of voice which is very pessimistic and abrupt - but in a funny way I grew to find this tone of voice hilarious and endearing, and after all, Shaun By
A reread. In April I finally made it to Wigtown, the Book Town of Scotland, and The Bookshop [for the life of me I cannot determine whether it should be The Bookshop or The Book Shop; the name on the website/Facebook page is different from the storefront!], a wonderfully rambling place with lots of nooks and crannies housing all sorts of categories. (Look out for the shot and mounted Kindle, the Festival bed, the stuffed badger, and the scroll of bookseller’s rules.) Luckily, on our visit we fou ...more
This book is going straight onto my shelf of all time favourites. I really enjoyed reading Shaun Bythell's diary of the trials, tribulations and occasional triumphs of being a bookseller.

In 2001, after having difficulty settling on a career he enjoyed, Shaun bought The Book Shop in his home town of Wigtown, in the Galloway region of Scotland. Some years later he started a diary and a facebook site to record the interactions with his customers, but over the months it developed into so much more
Apr 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Diary of a Bookseller is the first person account of Shaun Bythell, owner of The Bookshop, a large second hand bookstore in Scotland. Over the course of the year 2014, Bythell keeps a diary of daily encounters from the shop.

Some days are better than others. Irritating customers are a given. Bythell has a consistent dry sarcasm, and the details of the shop’s daily happenings are amusing.

“Any bookseller will tell you that, even with 100,000 books neatly sorted and shelved in a well-lit, warm
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Books excite me, but reading a book about a bookshop, excites me just that little bit more. I haven't came across many books in this kind of genre, so I really made the most of this one. The book shop, is ran by Shaun Bythell, and is located in Wigtown, Scotland. It is a seemingly successful second-hand book shop, and this book contains the diary of Bythell, which he kept for a year, and has all the events of each day recorded in it.
Now, I use Amazon for books very often, and it is due to Amazo
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Shaun Blythell would be sore that I read his book on a Kindle but it was an eARC of the US edition, what could I do. I enjoyed his diary of a year of bookselling - the customers, the small book town in Scotland, little hints into what he is reading and thinking, and the looming enemy of Amazon. His sense of humor is part curmudgeon... hmm, no, it's all curmudgeon. It makes him read as much older than he is, but that could just be the Scottish-American disconnect. I love that Scotland has a town ...more
Nat K
”Of course, one person’s good book is another person’s bad book; the matter is entirely subjective.”

For me, this book is quirky (with a capital “Q”).

The story meanders along, a bit like life really. Mostly routine and humdrum, with little flecks of highlights and happiness. A journal of sorts, of the trials and tribulations of a bookseller, and in a second hand bookstore at that.

Not a lot happens, but there are little gems that had me laughing out loud such as…

”An elderly customer told me that
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

One of my favourite comedies from the early '00's was Black Books, a comedy set in a second hand book shop and starring Dylan Moran as a misanthropic book seller who hates people and drinks copious amounts of wine. This is the book equivalent to that comedy, and I absolutely loved it.

The book outlines a year in the life of Shaun Bythell, owner of The Book Shop, and his daily interactions with customers and excur
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bookstores
What a depressing book! Bythell manages to make one of my favorite destinations, a used bookstore, feel like an unwelcoming hellhole. The book is a gloomy, lazily written diary of his daily transactions peppered with snarky, mean-spirited comments about his customers. There is very little in this book about reading or even books - except as crumbling objects to buy and sell.
Paul Secor
Shaun Bythell kept a one year diary covering his book shop - and also his life and the lives of some of those around him. It's a very entertaining read, though I wish that he had given more ink to some of the more pleasant experiences that probably occurred in his shop. (I'm sure that there must have been more than he related.) The more bizarre or annoying experiences made good reading, but more positive experiences would have made for a better balanced book. Mr. Bythell seems to be a bit of a c ...more
Who would've thought I'd have tears in my eyes as I closed this book? So, a five it gets.

I can highly recommend this book to most any reader, especially those of us who have dreamed of owning our own bookshops. The shop owner (and author) is as crotchety as they come, but at his heart, he is a good man who cares about his community. There is a touch of the romantic in there, too. I found him an interesting person to get to know, and I really hope he keeps writing.

This book made me laugh out lo
Oct 21, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

It it not easy to write a book in the diary format without falling into the trap of repeating yourself. I got up, opened the shop, Nicky was late. How very often did those words recur. It takes a writer of considerably more skill and imagination to make a diary interesting. One who can offer nuggets of insight (perhaps in response to the books he was reading above the bald comment "I enjoyed it") or the odd piece of imagery. This book failed on those counts. It had the stock in trade ornery empl
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

Such a beautiful book about books & book selling.

I already know what book I'm getting my friends for Christmas because this was hilarious & spoke to my misanthropic heart.
Wigtown is a beautiful rural town nestling in the south west of Scotland, and it has been designated as Scotland's official BookTown. It is home to a range of bookshops and book-related businesses as well as its own book festival. The Bookshop in Wigtown is Scotland's largest second-hand bookshop, with around 100,000 items of stock and miles of shelves, an open fire and nooks and crannies to lose yourself in.

The proprietor of this bibliophile heaven is Shaun Bythell and on the 5th February 2014,
Sean Gibson
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a few professions that you know going in are never going to lead to you having eff you money. Teacher, public defender, librarian, fashion designer for one-legged armadillos…all of these are things you have to absolutely love if you’re going to make them your life’s work. You can add secondhand bookseller to that list.

Enter Shaun Bythell, owner and proprietor of The Bookship in Wigtown (Scotland’s largest secondhand bookstore), who willingly accepts the economic challenges of owning a
Diane Barnes
A fun book to read for anyone who has been a bookseller, or anyone in a retail environment really. Sometimes customers defy description.
I chose to read this a few entries at a time, as diaries can be tedious when read straight through. Perfect bedtime reading.
У книгарні холодно й тихо, як у могилі. Треба, між іншим, спитати в Нікі, чи ніхто з наших постійних клієнтів останнім часом не помер.

Жила-була й переклала:
Жило-було провінційне шотландське містечко Віґтаун, і це реально дупа світу. Містечко стоїть у нетуристичному районі, про який забуло навіть Національне туристичне агентство Шотландії, нормального транспортного сполучення до нього нема, а обидва, так би мовити, "градообразующіх" підприємства закрилися з тріском, так що місцеве населення (під
Have you ever dreamt of owning a bookshop? Then this book is for you.

This is something as rare as a book that actually lives up to its title. This is nothing more, nothing less, than the diary of a bookseller.

Shaun Bythell owns Scotland's largest second hand bookshop located in Wigtown. And this book is his diary of his business life. In here you'll find hilarious anecdotes about the costumers he's met, notes about how much he has sold and earned each day, musings about the book business in gen
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Un anno in una libreria dell'usato in un paesino semi-sperduto della Scozia. Questo è il periodo di tempo che trascorreremo in compagnia di Shaun e del suo "book shop". Un anno tra miracoli e peripezie per riuscire a rimanere a galla nonostante le mille difficoltà: il colosso Amazon che tutto distrugge, la clientela che va dallo strambo al molesto e Nicky, commessa/subordinata odiosa e spocchiosa fino all'esaurimento.
Scaffali impolverati, pile di libri di ogni genere e amore per la lettura.

Una s
Natalie Richards
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
I really enjoyed this book which I received as a xmas present. Full of quirky characters and an insight into running a bookshop; it has a lot of laugh out loud moments. The Bookshop also has a facebook page which I googled and you can order books online through there too, helping to maintain the shop. A visit to this shop will be a must for me in the future!
продавцям книжок не обов'язково бути цікавезними людьми. ба більше, вони навіть не мусять уміти захопливо розповідати про книжки – чи про будь-що. тож щодо цього у мене до байтелла нема претензій: у нього вийшов доволі приємний книгарський щоденник (рівно рік – від 5 лютого 2014 до 4 лютого 2015 року, з епіграфами з джорджа орвелла для кожного місяця – виявляється, він теж якось працював у книгарні). і, раз це щоденник, від початку зрозуміло, що ні тяглості, ні завершеності окремих ліній від ньо ...more
Books about bookstores are one of my favorite genres, and there are not many of them. Shaun Bythell bought a second hand bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland which near the coast of the Irish Sea, and Stranraer which has a ferry to Belfast. It has an annual book festival, which the book makes clear is the highlight of their annual calendar.

Bythell walked away from a "real" job and bought the business about 15 years ago. Living in an old stone building in rainy and often cold Scotland is challenging, bu
Lisa *OwlBeSatReading*
Oh Shaun, your hatred for Kindles and stroppy, tight-fisted customers shines through in your highly entertaining diary! I wish I could get away with customer service 'Bythell Style', but I doubt I'd be employed for very long! The advantages of being your own boss I guess.

Next time I come across a book with age-related mould on it, I will undoubtedly be visualising some dude in a protective suit, complete with breathing apparatus, whipping it out of my hand to dispose of it safely.

I thoroughly e
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a true bibliophile, I have always loved books about bookshops and the book industry. Also, Black Books, the old tv series about a bookshop and it’s cantankerous alcoholic owner, is one of my favourite shows as well. As a result this book is a match made in Heaven for me. While not as rude, belligerent, or gross as the owner of the shop in Black Books, the author, and owner of the shop in the book, Shaun Bythell, does have a similarity when it comes to customer relations. The book is basica ...more
Charlie Lovett
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is it just because I used to be an antiquarian bookseller that I loved this book or because I've written novels starring antiquarian booksellers? I don't think so. Funny, revealing (especially about the devastating impact of Amazon), and full of curmudgeonly charm—more than anything this book made me want to go to Wigtown!
Jan 13, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's extremely repetitive and not as funny as the author clearly thinks.
Getting through those diary entries was just such a chore and it brought me, as a reader, ZERO fun, just made me yawn and eye roll and sigh.
Kaya Dimitrova
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
Ревю =>
Обичам книги, посветени на книгите и книжарството и тази не ме разочарова! "Дневникът на един книжар" е иронична, хаплива, откровена. Шон Битъл представя една година, в която той и неговите служители се сблъскват с цялата гама от клиенти, а Битъл далеч не се свени да кажe мнението си за всеки един от тях. Смях се от сърце на коментарите, а също и понаучих нещичко за търговията с книги втора ръка и Уигтън и литературния фестивал, провеждащ се
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Bookworm: A Memoir of Childhood Reading
  • Jacob's Room is Full of Books: A Year of Reading
  • 21st-Century Yokel
  • The Book of Forgotten Authors
  • Browsings: A Year of Reading, Collecting and Living with Books
  • The Reading Cure: How Books Restored My Appetite
  • The Bookshop Book
  • The Library Book
  • Where I'm Reading From: The Changing World of Books
  • Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany
  • Reading Allowed: True Stories and Curious Incidents from a Provincial Library
  • The Bookshop That Floated Away
  • One for the Books
  • A Girl Walks Into a Book: What the Brontës Taught Me about Life, Love, and Women's Work
  • Packing My Library: An Elegy and Ten Digressions
  • The Shelf: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading
  • Built of Books: How Reading Defined the Life of Oscar Wilde
  • The Book of Lost Books: An Incomplete History of All the Great Books You'll Never Read
Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland's National Book Town, and also one of the organisers of the Wigtown Festival.

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.
“I am putting a mental jigsaw together of what a hobbit looks like, based on a composite of every customer I have ever sold a copy to.” 8 likes
“Все эти издательства и люди, стоящие за ними, не боялись идти на риск и делились с миром новыми идеями. У каждого был собственный отличительный стиль, начиная с тематики и заканчивая дизайном, типографикой и представлениями о том, какой должна быть книга.” 0 likes
More quotes…