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Confessions of a Bookseller

(The Diary of a Bookseller #2)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  3,710 ratings  ·  646 reviews
"Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to stare at them?" Shaun Bythell is the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland. 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 sh ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published August 29th 2019 by Profile Book Ltd
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Godine Publisher & Black Sparrow Press The UK publisher wanted CONFESSIONS to start on January 1st because it seemed like a neater way to begin the story of a year in bookselling. They thou…moreThe UK publisher wanted CONFESSIONS to start on January 1st because it seemed like a neater way to begin the story of a year in bookselling. They thought no one would notice the overlap with DIARY (weirdly enough, no one in fact has seemed to notice in the UK so I guess the publisher was right).

Godine licensed the book from the UK and, in retrospect, I wish we had changed the dates in their edition. We aren't the publisher of DIARY (it was published here by Melville House) so it wasn't as a big a red flag as it should have been for us.

In any event, this wasn't Shaun's fault. We will make a change in the paperback and when we reprint the hardcover to restore Shaun's original dates.(less)
Laura Miller You can read them as stand alone books. Each covers about a year of the bookshop happenings. Diary does happen before Confessions, so if you like read…moreYou can read them as stand alone books. Each covers about a year of the bookshop happenings. Diary does happen before Confessions, so if you like reading chronologically I would start with Diary. But you don’t have to!! (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shaun Bythell takes us through a year of his life in 2015 as a second hand bookseller, a financially precarious business, in the small Scottish town of Wigtown. This is a biographical read guaranteed to delight all of us book obsessives and those curious about the nature of the book trade in all its glories and vagaries, narrated by a man who describes himself as both cantankerous and a curmudgeon. It is in the format of a diary, where every entry gives us information on the amount of online ord ...more
This was great fun! Having worked in both a bookshop, and a public library, I was practically snorting at all the been-there-done-that scenarios presented by Bythell. (How many times have I had to come down the ladder to answer a question about the wifi password, or give directions to the restrooms? The world may never know . . . ) I think this title would be enjoyed by anyone who has ever worked in the book trade, or perhaps dreamed of owning their own book store. I highly recommend the audio b ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

After enjoying the first book from Shaun Bythell, The Diary of a Bookseller, I was excited to read more diary installments from Shaun Bythell's life as a second hand book seller in Wigtown. I wasn't disappointed. This is full of the charm of the original book, with Bythell's usual introspective views on life, love and buying and selling books to various oddball customers.

Although misanthropic, Bythell still manages to come across as
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell is a most enjoyable audiobook. The author owns a bookstore in Scotland and fills this book with bits of conversations between the book browsers and the staff. It is a laugh-out-loud kind of book due to the dry wit of Shaun Bythell. In this day and age, bookshop owners are to be admired and encouraged: the battle against Amazon is always threatening. Only people who love books own independent bookstores and they have seen it all when it comes to what a ...more
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
More of the same, but I enjoyed it as much as his first book. Light reading in worrying times.
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and would especially recommend it for those who read and liked The Diary of a Bookseller by the same author. He owns the second largest second-hand bookstore in Scotland (in Wigtown, situated in the southwest of Scotland).

I could have sworn Nicky left for another job by the end of the last book, but she is back in this book. She’s pretty funny. Shaun at times pays her compliments (to us, not her) but mostly he is down on her (to the reader, I don’t know whether to her persona
Diane Barnes
Mar 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Another enjoyable diary of a year in the life of a used bookseller in Scotland. Like the previous book, I read a few entries every night. I see from the GR blurb that this is being made into a TV series. I sure hope we can get it here in the states.
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is an absolute delight. Shaun Bythell brings to life the trials, tribulations and thoughts of a independent bookshop owner.

The approach is in diary-form from 1st January to 31 December 2015 where the year starts with the shop, which is located in the Scottish town of Wigtown in Dumfries and Galloway, closed for New Year's Day.

It is endlessly entertaining and genuinely laugh out loud in places. Customers, those oh so wanted people, come in many shapes and sizes and we learn of their foibles
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
the latest book in the bookseller series is enjoyable its funny as it documents a year in the shop with the different customers and the characters. the book doesn't disappoint ...more
(3.5) This picks up right where The Diary of a Bookseller left off and carries through the whole of 2015. So long as you keep in mind that this is more of the same stuff – the daily routines of buying and selling books, including customers’ and colleagues’ quirks, and of being out and about in a small town – and you aren’t looking for big thrills in your reading, you should enjoy it. Some may find the built-in repetition boring, while for others it will be comforting. I read this on a summer tri ...more
Fiona MacDonald
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a charming book. It was so amusing, and I adored hearing about Shaun's trips to stately homes to look at book collections, as well as his daily life interacting with Emanuela, otherwise known as 'Granny' because she was "born old" a hilarious character from Italy who came to help Shaun with the shop over the summer, and could barely speak a word of English. All the people coming into the shop left some sort of impression on Shaun, whether it was good or bad; and some of the good ones made m ...more
Julie  Durnell
What can I say, it's about books- and in spite (or because) of Shaun's curmudgeonly ways I liked it just as much as the first! What a wonderful place to visit and find a book or two you've always wanted... ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2019
It sounds perfect, a mile of bookshelves, 100,000 books to choose from, open fires, a bookshop cat and when you have selected your purchases then you can take a walk down to the sea to sit and read them. This place can be found in Scotland’s book town, Wigtown, and if you were a visitor you’d hope that the proprietor, Shawn Bythell would be pleased to see every customer who walked in the door. Well, he is, sometimes, but he often isn’t…

“Do you have a list of your books, or do I just have to star
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
The second book by Wigtown, Scotland, book store owner, Shaun Bythell, is another amusing look at the life of a book seller. He is in an unique position as Wigtown is the National Book Town of Scotland and his bookstore is the second largest second hand bookstore in Scotland. There are a lot of book activities and tourists who come to town for the books. The book is written in diary style.

For most of us book lovers, owning a bookstore is a dream job. The reality? Not so much. It's a tough fiel
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This and The Diary of A Bookseller have been the best books I have read this year! Technically I didn't read them I listened through Audible and have had to buy physical copies just so I can take my time and reread them!
This just has me feeling all sorts of tingly and good throughout. Its one of those books you could curl up in front of a fire and let the hours slide by being completely engrossed in Shaun's book shop and everything his days entail.
I loved it so much I'm going to plan a trip to
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It is hard to find anything wrong with this book (I did not). Just a diary of a bookseller in Wigtown, Shaun Bythell, but it seems like a complete novel with people you learn to love, and you hate it when they disappear (or come back). It is a dangerous book because it gives me a triple hankering: living close to the sea, living in Great Britain and living in a bookshop. I visited the town and the shop in 2018 (yes, I have the t-shirt), and i have the selfie to prove it ! If you are a book lover ...more
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay so... where's the nearest used bookstore?? ...more
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Money can't buy happiness, BUT it can buy books (which is basically the same thing).

Having worked in a bookshop all through college, I absolutely loved this charmingly quirky journey through a year in the life of independent bookshop owner Shaun Bythell. A truly relaxing and amusing read.
May 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People say some bizarre things, and even more so in bookshops it seems. This book chronicles another year in life of Shaun Bythell, owner of probably the most famous secondhand bookshop in Scotland by now. Like Shaun's first book, this was a light-hearted and very amusing listen. I especially liked the anecdotes about 'Granny', the Italian shop assistant, who keeps calling Shaun a 'shitty bastard' and has a rather unique way of phrasing and pronouncing things. Those bits definitely made me chuck ...more
I was intrigued by the concept of getting a behind-the-scenes look into a bookseller's life - the backstory to owning a bookstore, encountering the myriad of customers a bookseller would come across, and of course the “confessions” of a bookseller, which sounded interesting and fun! But, sadly it was literally a day-by-day account of 365 days in the life of a bookseller - the customers who visited the shop, books they asked for, what they bought, down to the number of customers who visited, sale ...more
Nov 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to make of this book. At first, I thought this was a diary of activities throughout the year. I thought the book was rather boring for the first 50 pages.

I decided to explore the author's bookshop online and listened to him read a letter of recommendation for a former employee online. I couldn't stop laughing at his little excerpt and started to understand his sense of humor. My appreciation for his writing style grew with each page read.

I still don't understand how he makes a
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE 2020 #27: A book that has a book on the cover.

*Book #7 of the 2020 International Male Author Challenge.

Confessions of a Bookseller is a 2019 memoir from Scottish bookseller Shaun Bythell. Following on from his international bestseller The Diary of a Bookseller, Shaun Bythell is back for more musings and shenanigans from his Wigtown Bookshop. Bythell’s witty observations of his customers and the book trade in general makes this memo
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Last year I picked up Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, the proprietor of a small bookshop in Wigtown, Scotland, but as I was on hiatus I didn’t post a review. To be honest I didn’t find it particularly riveting, but it certainly seemed to capture the reading public’s interest.

Confessions of a Bookseller is presented in the same vein as the first book with a dated entry briefly detailing Shaun’s day in the bookshop, or elsewhere, as well as totals that reveal sales, customer visits, and on
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the chance to read this book!

So as soon as I saw this on Netgalley, I knew I had to request it. Even if I didn't get it, I was so happy to see that Shaun had another book coming out, and out of respect for his anti Kindle views, of course I'm going to buy a physical book when it comes out to match my copy of Diary of a Bookseller. I even had the pleasure of telling my favorite book store owner here that there was another book coming out! (she has a co
La La
2.5 stars on the blog.

This book is a series of journal (diary) entries from a used bookstore owner in Scotland. Most of the entries in the first 80% of the book were boring. My life is more interesting than this guy's. The only thing that kept me actively reading was the entries that were interesting were wonderful. By the time the entries became solidly enjoyable in the last 20% I was so tired of reading them I almost didn't care anymore. Ha ha. His grandmother was more interesting, and she sho
Cynthia Dunn
I really liked his first book but this one, though essentially the same, became tedious to me. Maybe because it was so much like the first one.
Laura Walin
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biographies
Oh no, the bookseller lost his charm in the sequel, at least for me. I so wanted to like this book, as I truly respect (and envy) people who have the courage to try and make their living by selling books. But I just could not much enjoy reading these confessions.

The reasons are twofold. Firstly, this book did not seem to bring anything new compared to the first volume. The job, the people, the annual clock of the bookshop, the style, all are the same. And the style is the second problem. I just
Steph ✨
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for sending me an eARC of this book

I read The Diary of a Bookseller when it came out and really enjoyed it. Shaun is hilarious and some of the stories he tells are just beyond funny. I feel like Confessions of a Bookseller went a bit deeper than DOAB in the sense of Shaun's private life. He was relatively open in his first book but I feel this one was a little more raw.

Had a blast reading this and I look forward to anything else Shaun may come out with
Sophie Crane
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is going to be added to the list of re-reads at regular intervals.
Wonderfully written, i bet its had an effect on tourist numbers visiting Dumfries and Galloway and The Bookshop in particular.
Looking forward to the third book, don’t leave us waiting long Mr B.
Lisa Brantly
4.5 Maybe one day I'll get to Wigtown. ...more
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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.

Other books in the series

The Diary of a Bookseller (2 books)
  • The Diary of a Bookseller

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