Cover courtesy of Godine

“My bedside table has seen a fast-moving collection of unfinished books recently. My attention span is alarmingly shortened, and my tastes are changing too fast to finish most books. However, Shaun Bythell’s memoir “Confessions of a Bookseller” has somehow just the right combination of repetition, humor and escape I need in a story right now.

“In a follow-up to his bestselling “Diary of a Bookseller,” Bythell continues to document his (at times bleak) existence as a second-hand book dealer and shop owner in Wigton, a small seaside Scottish village. I haven’t read his first memoir and while I’m shocked at some of the day’s cash takings (often less than a 100 pounds), the diary-style makes the characters familiar quickly. Although I won’t be browsing in any musty Scottish bookshops (or even walking down to my local Sherman’s) in the coming days, Blythell’s witty descriptions of cheap customers, the drudgery and comfort of his daily routines and the consistent weather manages to create a sense of place strong enough to capture my flittery mind for long enough to feel settled-in near his fire.

“Like most writers, I am trying to support the work of booksellers and authors trying to promote recently published books while normal channels are closed. Joshua Bodwell, former Executive Director of MWPA, and now Editorial Director of the Boston publishing house, David R. Godine, brought the book to my attention through Facebook last week. I ordered it through Godine’s website and got to support an author, an independent New England press, and fellow Mainer.”

—Writer and teacher COLLEEN HENNESSY, Boothbay Harbor, sent us her pick before stores in Maine began to slowly re-open.


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