WM Words & Wine Affinity Group (virtual)
[No City], MI
United States of America
April 26, 2021: Confessions of a Curious Bookseller, by Shaun Bythell
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 orders and orders found, the day's weather, the total taken at the till and the number of customers who come into the shop. Nicky, a woman in her late forties, is the sole remaining employee left with her foodie Fridays and there are belly dancing classes that take place in the store. The bookshop has over a mile of shelving, real log fires - a dream destination for all book lovers.
Bythell gives us a real sense of Wigtown's community, that includes many from various parts of Europe and the American Anna, Shaun's partner for five years, who has slotted into the area with ease, although their relationship breaks up, thanks to what he refers as his fear of commitment, as he continues to miss her. We follow him as he makes trips to buy book collections and meets their owners, books sent to FBA (fulfilled by Amazon), because there is insufficient space in the shop, despite his hatred of Amazon and Kindles. He finds scraps of paper in old books that turn out to be worth a lot more valuable than he could ever have expected. His love of books is unmistakable, the pleasure he gets from handling books, and from reading. His descriptions and accounts of customers are a joy to read about, some real oddballs abound, such as those who cannot differentiate between a bookshop and a library, in search of a book they have practically no information about, and many other embarrassing scenarios.
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Affinity Group Chairs
Rene Buggs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 616-238-7963
Penny Streling, email@example.com 616-826-7821
Words & Wine Affinity Group
“Words & Wine” offers a relaxed gathering at a local restaurant to discuss recent reads and enjoy a lively interactive discussion. We meet at various local restaurants for food and a glass of wine (or any other beverage you prefer!) while taking the opportunity to network. The group encourages members to suggest books for subsequent monthly book club get-togethers.
Some examples of our most recent reads are “The Little Paris Bookshop”, Nina George; “Sense and Sensibility”, Jane Austen and this month we’re reading a selection from Reese Witherspoon’s book club “Where the Crawdads Sing”, Delia Owens. (Finishing the book is never a prerequisite for attending the club meetings!) Check out the Inforum Events page for upcoming meeting details. Happy reading!
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