Remainders of the Day: A Bookshop Diary

David R. Godine. Dec. 2022. 376p. ISBN 9781567927566. $27.95. MEMOIR
Bythell (Confessions of a Bookseller) is the owner of Scotland’s largest used bookstore, which has more than 100,000 books in stock. The Bookshop is located in Wigtown, a small town in southwest Scotland that has transformed itself from a declining industrial center to a haven for booklovers. With Bythell’s fourth book (after Seven Kinds of People You Meet in Bookshops) about his experiences as a bookstore owner, he shares amusing and wry anecdotes about the ins and outs of running a secondhand bookstore. Written in diary form, this book covers a year, beginning in February 2016. The author takes readers along with him to appraise and buy collections, and he describes his everyday encounters with local characters, eccentric employees, and customers who both buy and sell books. As one of the organizers of the annual Wigtown Book Festival, Bythell reveals the planning that goes into making such an event successful. His dry humor and skeptical view of humanity make for a very funny take on his business.
VERDICT This is a charming look at a small-town bookstore, its owner, and the people he meets.
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