The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

The Diary of a Bookseller

I was kindly sent an advanced copy of The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell recently by Profile Books, and was very eager to get stuck in straight away.

As an ex-bookseller and current small business owner I identified with so many things in this book.

“At 5 p.m a woman asked if her husband had left, so I told her that I had no idea who her husband was or what he looked like.  She scowled and left”

The book takes us through a whole year in the life of The Bookshop, Wigtown, Scotland and is full of anecdotes about staff and customers, alongside insights into the day to day running of the shop.   It even includes how many customers came in each day, the till totals and number of orders fulfilled, which was very interesting to me as I make the same notes in the gallery too.

“A customer came to the counter and said, ‘I’ve looked under the W section of the fiction and I can’t find anything by Rider Haggard.’  I suggested that he had a look under the H section.”

It’s laugh out loud on minute and a poignant look at the book industry the next, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.

“An old man with a walking stick accosted Nicky as she was riling through a box of books that was destined for Cash for Clothes – ‘I’m looking for a book, but I don’t know what it’s called.  I know what it looks like, though.  It’s a very old book.'”

How brilliant ( and frustrating) to be in a business that goes from one extreme (above), to the other;

“In the afternoon a customer asked where we keep the ‘illustrated poetry books’.  I explained that we don’t have a specific section and that he would have to trawl through the whole poetry section.  He emerged two hours later, looking delighted with a pile of £200 worth of books, explaining that he had just taken up book collecting and thought that illustrated poetry was an interesting subject on which to build up a collection.  I genuinely thought that this type of person had ceased to exist.  I could have hugged him.”

Just brilliant, I highly recommend to everyone – but a little bit more if you have some experience of the book industry, just so you can roll your eyes in full recognition of the cast of characters you come across in this book.

Organdie x

 

Advertisements

Bear With…

DSC_0168-01

Hello!

I haven’t completely disappeared from the face of the earth, promise….

I will be back asap with some more images and bookish stuff – I have some posts in progress.  In the meantime, enjoy the capybaras.

Organdie. x

The Year in Books :: December 2016

Better late than never – right??

I thought I would pop by to tell you what I read in November – October seemed to be a bit of a lull in reading and I didn’t really read anything at all.  November got me back on track though, so here we go;

hygge

First up was the gorgeous The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking.  This was delightful – beautifully presented with some wonderful ideas to put into practice to make your like a little more hygge.  I can’t wait for Christmas, as I think it will be easier to be a little more hygge then than at any other time of the year.  I am looking forward to hunkering down with some good books, films, food and (hopefully) no internet for a while.  Bliss.

witches

Next I dipped into Accused: British Witches Throughout History by Willow Winsham which was fairly interesting.  I did find the style a little disjointed and confusing at times, but a lot of the cases discussed were really absorbing.  I knew very little about any of them, and I was so interested to see such recent cases – going right up to the 1940s.  Well worth a dip into if witches are your thing.

murder

After that, I fancied a little lighthearted murder!  So I picked up the first in a series, Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver.  I enjoyed this one a lot – it is a lighthearted murder mystery set in the 1930s.  It was very fluffy and there were lots of small descriptions of dresses (which I found slightly annoying after a while) and some fun characters.  I would recommend it for light escapism, and I would certainly read the next in the series if I came across it on my travels.

December might see me reading Christmassy things – including my annual rereads of A Christmas Carol by Dickens and Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien.  I am hoping that I can fit in some more wintery feel good reads too – what they will be, only time will tell!

What have you been reading lately?

Organdie. x

If Women Rose Rooted – Sharon Blackie

 

“A life changing journey from the wasteland of modern society to a place of nourishment and connection.

If Women Rose Rooted has been described as both transformative and essential.  Sharon Blackie leads the reader on a quest to find their place in the world, drawing inspiration from the wise and powerful females in native mythology, and guidance from contemporary women who have re-rooted themselves in land and community and taken responsibility for shaping the future.

Beautifully written, honest and moving, If Women Rose Rooted is a passionate song to a different kind of femininity, a rallying cry for women to reawaken their natural power – not just for the sake of their own wellbeing, but for the love of this threatened earth.”

Joining Sharon on this journey was a joy.  I lapped up every word of this book and immediately wanted to reread it once I had finished.

It covers such a wide range of topics – environmentalism, belonging, personal development and mythology – that my copy is stuffed full of page markers and underlining.

I loved the way the Celtic stories interspersed with the narrative mirrored the author’s stories and added extra depth.  I have always been fascinated with the idea of belonging – it is not one I particularly identify with, but one that I would dearly love to.  Celtic mythology and roots particularly intrigue me, so this book with its original subtitle of “The Power of the Celtic Woman” and its 2nd edition subtitle of “The Journey to Authenticity and Belonging” sang to me.

The wasteland of Western culture is something I think about often and why I often escape into the past – nostalgia for something I have never experienced perhaps, or a yearning for an imagined simpler life? – and why nature spiritualities and of course nature itself draws me in so well.

I think this books is such an important read for so many reasons – one that I will be returning to again I am sure.  If you are interested in roots, belonging, mythology, the modern world, nature or the environment I am sure you would find something to interest you in Sharon’s book.

Organdie. x

I was kindly sent this book by the publisher September Publishing – you can find a copy by going to their website here.  All views and opinions in this review are my own.

The Year in Books :: October 2016

DSC_0070-03.jpeg

Bit of an unintentional break from the blog again – I don’t really have any excuses this time, so I will just say sorry for the gap and leave it at that.

Because of the break, I have a couple of months of reading to let you know about, so here we go;

July saw me read My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell which I absolutely loved.  It was a warm, funny, brilliantly evocative and had a host of wonderful characters.  Definitely one to add to my favourites shelf to revisit again soon.

I also read Foxes Unearthed by Lucy Jones which was a thoroughly enjoyable look at foxes and the human relationship with them.  It started off with Roald Dahl and his Fantastic Mr Fox and moved off through hunting and hunt saboteurs and ended up with the urban fox. I learned a lot and saw foxes through different people’s eyes which was very interesting.  The key thing I came away with from reading this, is that foxes are just being foxes and any problems humans have with them are our own, not the foxes.  Highly recommended reading. I will probably do a separate post on this one soon as it was kindly sent to me by the publishers Elliott and Thompson

Next up was Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham which was a very unusual memoir from one of my favourite TV personalities.  Using the 3rd person in a memoir is not something I have ever come across before and it gave a very different perspective to a moving and revealing memoir.

Lastly I read If Women Rose Rooted by Sharon Blackie which I am still processing I think.  There is a lot about the Celtic woman in this one as well as a lot of environmental issues.  I am going to write up my thoughts in a separate blog post for this one I think as it was kindly sent to me by the publisher September Publishing.

What have you been reading over the last few months? I have a lot to catch up on!

Organdie. x