Hot Best Seller

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

Availability: Ready to download

In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore--the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in grade school. Interwoven throughout is In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore--the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in grade school. Interwoven throughout is an historical account of the bookseller's trade--from the great Alexandria library with an estimated one million papyrus scrolls to Sylvia Beach's famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, which led to the effort to publish and sell James Joyce's Ulysses during the 1920s.


Compare

In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore--the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in grade school. Interwoven throughout is In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Buzbee, a former bookseller and sales representative, celebrates the unique experience of the bookstore--the smell and touch of books, getting lost in the deep canyons of shelves, and the silent community of readers. He shares his passion for books, which began with ordering through The Weekly Reader in grade school. Interwoven throughout is an historical account of the bookseller's trade--from the great Alexandria library with an estimated one million papyrus scrolls to Sylvia Beach's famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare and Company, which led to the effort to publish and sell James Joyce's Ulysses during the 1920s.

30 review for The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jeffrey Keeten

    “November, a dark, rainy Tuesday afternoon. This is my ideal time to be in a bookstore. The shortened light of the afternoon and the idleness and hush of the hour gather everything close, the shelves and the books and the few other customers who graze head-bent in the narrow aisles. There's a clerk at the counter who stares out the front window, taking a breather before the evening rush. I've come to find a book.” I spent from 1985-1997 working in the book industry. I started with Publisher's Bo “November, a dark, rainy Tuesday afternoon. This is my ideal time to be in a bookstore. The shortened light of the afternoon and the idleness and hush of the hour gather everything close, the shelves and the books and the few other customers who graze head-bent in the narrow aisles. There's a clerk at the counter who stares out the front window, taking a breather before the evening rush. I've come to find a book.” I spent from 1985-1997 working in the book industry. I started with Publisher's Book Outlet in Phoenix, the farthest flung bookstore for the Southern based Anderson News Company. I harassed the manager every other day until she gave me a job out of exasperation. I had a vision of myself working in that particular store that wouldn't give me any peace either. Within 18 months I was the manager when she simply quit showing up to work. I made a call to Anderson to explain the situation and they hired me to be the store manager over the phone. I met this judge while working for PBO who was as crazy about books as I was. Whenever we would get in a new shipment of books I would give him a call and he would come down to help process the new books. He wanted first dibs and for the free labor I was happy to oblige. He was in the OSS during WW2 which predates the CIA. He was involved in the capture of Hermann Goring. As he said to me. "I laid hands on him." I was privileged to get the chance to meet people like him. When I moved to Tucson to go to the University of Arizona I took a job with Bookman's Used Books. I learned so much about life and books working the used book buying counter. Most of my best memories of working in the book biz come from that period of time. My last job for them was opening a new location for them in Mesa. I learned a lot of what I can do by doing that job. For a month I was getting by on four hours sleep a night and my wife was about ready to divorce me. Luckily for me she hung in there. I had a short stint as a remainder company rep with Roy P. Jensen out of New Jersey. My territory was everything West of Denver. I had a chance to meet John Dunning (he owned Old Algonquin Books) and had him sign my first of the terrific BOOKED TO DIE. I walked into almost every relevant bookstore in my territory including those in British Columbia and Calgary. I remember one evening after closing drinking really bad jug wine with a bookseller in San Diego while we negotiated how much I needed to pay for a first edition of Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. I'm pretty sure he got to me. :-) “I am fatally attracted to all bookstores.” I then ended my book career with Green Apple Books in San Francisco. I never made very much money, but I made enough to pay for my college, and of course, there was the discount on books. I was able to meet authors like Thomas McGuane, Mark Helprin, William Gibson, Paul Theroux, Salman Rushdie (He dodged in unannounced with bodyguards and signed our books and was gone before the pressure of his handshake faded from my hand.), Neal Stephenson, Ray Bradbury, James Lee Burke,etc. etc. etc. I also had the pleasure of working with the most intelligent, interesting people I've ever met. You might be starting to think this review is about me. It is difficult for me to separate myself from any book, but especially one about the book business. Lewis Buzbee certainly stirred up a lot of great memories for me with this book. I am convinced that this guy led a life of parallel existence to me. His stories about the book store life from complaining about RUDE customers to putting on awesome music after the store closes had me staring off into the distance wrapped in a gossamer of nostalgia. Working in a bookstore was the only job I've ever had where I really didn't want to go home. The employees hung out together after work, pooled money to buy food, and we talked A LOT about books. Buzbee weaves the history of the book, the bookstore, and of reading around his own personal memories of working in the book industry. Nobody does this like Nicholas Basbanes, but for a quick thumbnail sketch he did an excellent job of hitting the highlights. I personal would have loved more stories from his time working in bookstores, but then just the few he shared reminded me of my own stories. “If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.” Buzbee did bring up a great point that most readers begin with reading "junk". We don't start out with Grapes of Wrath or Moby Dick and probably if we did, we would never have become dedicated readers. I went from reading Hardy Boy Mysteries to Louis L'Amour. My Dad leased farm ground from a guy named John Quanz who used to escape from his harpy of a wife by spending the bulk of every day at a small house he owned on his family's original homestead. He would sit in a rocking chair, sipping whiskey, and reading L'Amour, Luke Short, Ray Hogan, Elmore Leonard and any other western he could get his hands on. When he finished reading them he would give them to me to read. I still have a soft spot for a good western. The moment though that I became a lifetime reader was when I read Treasure Island. I owe a real debt of gratitude to Robert Louis Stevenson for opening up the world of literature to me. “The books of our childhood offer a vivid door to our own pasts, and not necessarily for the stories we read there, but for the memories of where we were and who we were when we were reading them; to remember a book is to remember the child who read that book.” I would really like to hear what "junk gateway" books everyone read that started them on the road to being lifetime readers. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.com I also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten

  2. 5 out of 5

    Stephen P

    The book opens with the feel of a book in his hands, the pleasure of slipping into the waiting world beneath the print, the buying of more books than can be read, all leading to the incurable illness of "book lust." Buzbee's life has been spent as a reader. He has traveled through bookstores all over the country, especially the one around the corner from where he lives, sitting, reading and purchasing.I follow alongside as he works as an author selling his book, as a bookseller, a book rep. for The book opens with the feel of a book in his hands, the pleasure of slipping into the waiting world beneath the print, the buying of more books than can be read, all leading to the incurable illness of "book lust." Buzbee's life has been spent as a reader. He has traveled through bookstores all over the country, especially the one around the corner from where he lives, sitting, reading and purchasing.I follow alongside as he works as an author selling his book, as a bookseller, a book rep. for a publishing company. I sat enraptured. Following this life of the book life, the life of books, he falters into the history of bookselling going back to ancient times. It fell flat for me. A whiny, spoilt child, I wanted more about the life of reading. No reason not to keep going. I could spend days, whining or not, listening to tales of reading, the feel of walking into a bookshop and the towering shelves of books, the magnificent clutter of book lust. Facts, if there are such things, shattered me out of the dreamy state of reading about reading, the romantic interlude of literature. An addict with his stash stolen I was abandoned. A ship neared. Friend or foe? Boardingl I slipped through time arriving at the port of the current state of the bookshop. The need for bookshops and not the simple button press with the arrival of packages at our front door, which the author confesses dabbling in himself, e-books, or the chain stores, the big-box conglomerates, publishing houses purchased by large companies as one small arm, subsidiary of a larger and more diverse mega- company. Many, many, independent bookshops have closed their doors. He has those numbers along with what % of Indie books sold-read nationally and within varying types of stores. He can talk about the trend and where it is leading; unflaggingly following the tracks it has already laid or feathering into a different constellation, or possibly continuing as is? What? You know? Good, I'm glad to hear that. 3.5/5

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    This has some great quotes about books, especially in the beginning, and some interesting facts about the history of books and booksellers throughout the ages. Hard to believe that originally booksellers were not traditionally the quiet, reputable members of society we expect today! Toward the end of the book, the author describes bookstores from around the world (admittedly mostly American) which I enjoyed reading about - and putting some shops on my mental “must-visit” list! Unfortunately there This has some great quotes about books, especially in the beginning, and some interesting facts about the history of books and booksellers throughout the ages. Hard to believe that originally booksellers were not traditionally the quiet, reputable members of society we expect today! Toward the end of the book, the author describes bookstores from around the world (admittedly mostly American) which I enjoyed reading about - and putting some shops on my mental “must-visit” list! Unfortunately there were none in Australia :-( It’s hard to choose a favourite quote, but upon reflection I think my top quotes are: "For the last several days I've had the sudden and general urge to buy a new book. I've stopped off at a few bookstores around the city, and while I've looked at hundreds and hundreds of books in that time, I have not found the one book that will satisfy my urge. It's not as if I don't have anything to read; there's a tower of perfectly good unread books next to my bed, not to mention the shelves of books in the living room I've been meaning to reread. I find myself, maddeningly, hungry for the next one, as yet unknown. I no longer try to analyze this hunger; I capitulated long ago to the book lust that's afflicted me most of my life. I know enough about the course of the disease to know I'll discover something soon.” This book has certainly evoked the desire in me to go into a bookstore and buy another book!! "Even a paperback printed on acidic paper, whose pages have yellowed ten years on, can still be read, no matter how badly the spine is cracked or how inflated it's become from being dropped in the bathtub. The pages might separate from the spine, but a rubber band can keep them together. You may loan a book to your circle of closest friends, but shoes are another matter. A great book will never go out of style - books go with every outfit." 3.5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Walt

    A super book for all true book lovers. It relates the history of bookshops (of all sizes), the publishing industry, the role of the web, on-demand publishing, and the roles played by publishers, sellers, agents, reps, agents & authors. The best part is that Mr Buzbee shares his serious analysis and understanding of WHY we love bookshops, and why they will endure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Vegan

    Every time I read about an author’s account of books & reading, I now compare them with Anne Fadiman’s book Ex Libris and they simply never live up to her work, an unfair assessment perhaps since I love Fadiman’s book so much. However, this is a special book too. It’s a seemingly effortless mesh of autobiography and biography and history of bookstores. He might not write the soaringly beautiful prose of Fadiman but he writes well and his focus is narrower and just as interesting; this is most Every time I read about an author’s account of books & reading, I now compare them with Anne Fadiman’s book Ex Libris and they simply never live up to her work, an unfair assessment perhaps since I love Fadiman’s book so much. However, this is a special book too. It’s a seemingly effortless mesh of autobiography and biography and history of bookstores. He might not write the soaringly beautiful prose of Fadiman but he writes well and his focus is narrower and just as interesting; this is mostly about bookstores, in the present and their history. It was a cozy read. Not for the first time this book showed me that I missed my calling: working in a bookstore, or owning a bookstore and working in it. Seriously. I also now have an urge (despite the lack of disposable income I once enjoyed) to go and spend a larger hunk of my free time in bookstores and to find bookstores new to me, preferably in far flung areas when possible. The author is based in San Francisco, the city where I live, so I know virtually all of the local stores he mentions. I, now, even more, want to visit certain worldwide bookstores, especially the village of Hay-on-Wye in Wales, Powell’s in Portland, Orgeon , the Strand in NYC and the Tattered Cover in Denver, the latter three being more reasonable goals, although if I ever get to take my England and Scotland dream trip, I’m determined to get to Hay-on-Wye on the same jaunt. Luckily, many of my dream vacation spots would allow me to include bookstore visits along with my some of my other passions of finding good vegan & vegetarian restaurants, visiting museums of all types, attending plays (something I rarely do at home,) and appreciating both the natural beauty and the history of a place. As with almost every treasured book I read (from children’s picture books to text books and every book in-between) in its pages I found more books I want to read, including If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino. I love that the author is entranced with children’s literature as well as books written for adults. Bookstores are the only stores I truly enjoy; I need to spend more time in them, and I really need to try to do some traveling, and include bookstore stops wherever I am. The author relates how big box warehouse stores, more than internet or chain bookstores, have competed to the detriment of independent bookstores. So, maybe I shouldn’t feel as guilty about doing the vast majority of my book shopping on the internet? Nah, I should still feel guilty. Although most of my books now are borrowed library books, I resolve to purchase more of those I do buy at independent bookstores, my favorite stores. This small (but not slight) book with the lovely cover gets at least 4 ½ stars from me, and it was just the respite that I needed at this time. Also, I’d love to run into the author in his neighborhood bookstore, a neighborhood that’s just across Golden Gate Park from mine.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melora

    Uneven. There were sections I enjoyed, and others that quickly became dull. Overall more enjoyable than not, but not quite what I'd hoped for. As the subtitle, "a memoir, a history," indicates, this is actually two sorts of books in one. Buzbee tells the story of his own life as a reader, from the pleasures of choosing just the right books to order from the Scholastic catalogs distributed periodically in elementary school (I particularly enjoyed this part, as I remember those flyers clearly and a Uneven. There were sections I enjoyed, and others that quickly became dull. Overall more enjoyable than not, but not quite what I'd hoped for. As the subtitle, "a memoir, a history," indicates, this is actually two sorts of books in one. Buzbee tells the story of his own life as a reader, from the pleasures of choosing just the right books to order from the Scholastic catalogs distributed periodically in elementary school (I particularly enjoyed this part, as I remember those flyers clearly and actually still have a couple of those Scholastic books on my shelves, nearly fifty years later) to the book (The Grapes of Wrath) that, at fifteen, made him a passionate reader. Despite never having had a particular "conversion moment" myself, I really enjoyed his stories about John Steinbeck. Buzbee grew up near Monterey and talks about visiting Cannery Row, and having recently read Cannery Row (one of my dad's favorites, and it took me all these years to get to it, but it really is a good book), I found this interesting. Buzbee spends chapters describing how he came to work in different book stores, how he became a publisher's representative, and what being in those fields was/is like. No surprises here, really. I'm pretty sure we've all heard by now that customers in bookstores sometimes ask silly questions, and if you haven't worked in retail you've talked about it with someone who has. Having been a librarian for ten years I already had a pretty clear idea of what a sales rep did, and I expect that salesmen for drugs, medical equipment, etc., have quite a bit in common, though Buzbee does emphasize how he enjoyed giving away complimentary books and talking with staff at different stores about what was selling and what wasn't. Still, I found this part dull. The other part of the book (he goes back and forth between the two aspects, tying them together very smoothly) is the history of book selling. This part was more interesting to me -- he starts with a description of an Egyptian tomb hieroglyphic telling of an undertaker who has offered to sell the deceased's family his own copy of The Book of the Dead, and takes us all the way through Amazon, e-books, and print-on-demand publishing. He is an engaging writer, and his history of book selling is lively, if largely familiar. His transition, though, from the glory-that-was-Rome to the Church-oppressed Middle Ages ("The Christian empire sought to defend its slippery purchase on the good souls of Europe..." p 97) was so jarring and ... historically unconventional? that I had a hard time putting any faith in his reliability as a historian afterwards. "Before the end of the fifth century CE,when Christianity and its censors began to push Europe into the Dark Ages, Rome was the capital of an empire and a thriving literary cosmopolis, a haven for books, writers, and readers." Really? Christianity and Christian censors of books caused the fall of the Roman Empire? I'd really like to see some footnotes if an author is going to make a claim like that. Anyway. A quibble. But a quibble that lost him a lot of credibility with me. The chapter, "Big Business," and the one on censorship, "Not My Doolittle You Don't," were both good. I think he's on firmer ground when he talks about modern book publishing. I found the breakdown of profits for the various participants in the process of getting books into the hands of their readers quite interesting. Authors appear to be grossly underpaid, but, really, how any of the parties involved stays in business is a bit of a mystery to me still. I'm glad and grateful that they do, though. He finishes with a tour of his favorite book stores, and then an already out of date (the book was published in 2006) discussion of e-books. He likes his witticism about how, if you are reading an e-book, you will want to "curl up in your favorite e-chair" enough to share it twice, but, only ten years later, it seems a bit foolish. I think he underestimates the usefulness of online book shopping, but, given his background, that is to be expected. Since moving to an "bookstore-less" pocket of the country ten years ago, Amazon has kept me happily supplied with reading matter and, despite Buzbee's reservations, I find the reviews other customers post to be much more helpful than the theoretical comments of my fellow "bricks & mortar" shoppers which Buzbee comments on my missing with online shopping. Still, physical bookstores do have many charms, and I do miss being able to browse the shelves, wedging down in a quiet corner with a book that looks interesting and being able to see the whole thing, and not just the sample pages Amazon offers me. I'm glad they are still there, and that they have passionate advocates.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Meliza

    Also posted in mecanism. “What better place to enjoy the stretched hours than a bookstore.” Some of my friends, those who don’t read, say that reading for me has already been an addiction. Reading this book reminded me that I am not alone, and thus gave me consent to continue plunging into this obsession. So I would just basically enumerate some of Buzbee’s thoughts that I could relate to. Hehe! “In the bookstore, we may be alone among others, but we are connected to others.” By just walking into Also posted in mecanism. “What better place to enjoy the stretched hours than a bookstore.” Some of my friends, those who don’t read, say that reading for me has already been an addiction. Reading this book reminded me that I am not alone, and thus gave me consent to continue plunging into this obsession. So I would just basically enumerate some of Buzbee’s thoughts that I could relate to. Hehe! “In the bookstore, we may be alone among others, but we are connected to others.” By just walking into a bookstore, the book lovers that we are, there is already a sense of excitement within. Then there’s an urge to buy books, even if we still have a lot of books unread at home and other books that we want to reread. Or even if we don’t buy, just roaming and looking at the titles is enough for us to enjoy hours of being in a bookstore. Buzbee even pointed out the advantage of the physical nature of books, that even though it has varying sizes, they still have the same basic shape, slim and rectangular, so that it can be easily shelved and stored. And we can easily slide a book out between two others and easily return it in the same spot. While I never thought about these simple things before, reading these made me appreciate books even more. Also, during travels, it’s a must that I include bookstores or libraries in my itinerary, which my non-bookish friends would sort of laugh about. Within this book, Buzbee enumerated some of his favorite bookstores, which I hope I could someday visit. Another thing mentioned that I am guilty of is book-snooping. If I see someone with a book, I would try to peer over to see what the person is reading. I’ll look at the cover, curious about the title, maybe glimpse some words. If I can’t see them though, I am satisfied with just seeing a stranger reading, a kindred spirit. Buzbee also visualized a scenario that creates what he calls a pleasant equilibrium. He described how readers love coffee and cigarettes plus reading or writing, with long conversations or just staring out the window. I have wondered even before, why do book lovers love coffee? Yes, not all readers, but a lot. Or why are there a lot of readers in cafes? And bookshops beside coffee houses or bookshops with coffee shops? Didn’t we all dreamed of a bookstore plus a cafe business? In some way, he answered these questions with this quote: “The bookstore and the coffee house are natural allies; neither has a time limit, slowness is encouraged.” I learned a lot about the history of bookshops and booksellers, about printing and publishing. It’s funny that the first booksellers are closely associated with swindlers. The book mentioned about the great library at Alexandria, and the Gutenberg press, with interesting facts like how English and European bookstores were once arranged by publishers rather than by section, why and when were massmarket paperbacks first published and up to the present with the role of online sellers like Amazon. In the midst of these history lessons, he also told us stories of camaraderie between book lovers. It was clearly manifested during the publishing of Ulysses by James Joyce involving the Paris bookstore called Shakespeare and Co. Another story is about the controversy of Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses. These two stories are inspiring proofs of how book lovers connect, not only in solitude. It also tackled the “death” of literature, when “novel” died, when “bookstore” died, and how electronic media took people away from books. But Buzbee gave us another perspective. It was said that electronic media and the Internet are the bookstore’s greatest nemesis. But really, they’re not. It’s true that this book hails physical books and brick-and-mortar bookstores. But at the end of the book, it also informs us the importance of Internet in literature. It helps readers to connect. One example is how I got this book. This book is our book club’s Travelling Book #2, a book passed among members. If it ain’t for the Internet, I wouldn’t have discovered Goodreads where our book club is based. I wouldn’t have met some of my favorite people, my bookish friends, who would recommend books to buy and to read. The web is connecting readers, not keeping readers out of the bookstore. And now, by talking about this book, I’m using the Internet to somehow pass to others what I have read. I’m telling you that I enjoyed reading this book. So when you are stretching some hours in a bookstore and see this, maybe you’ll decide to pick it up and buy it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Toni

    A truly delightful little book for those who find it impossible to pass up a bookshop without entering - and once inside always discover some new (or not-so-new) gem of a book to lust after. An added bonus is the well written history of the book trade, paper, printing, publishing and why independent bookshops will always have a place among the Amazon.coms, Barnes & Nobles, and Costcos. I also appreciated the look and feel of this pretty little paperback - the quality of the paper, the typeface A truly delightful little book for those who find it impossible to pass up a bookshop without entering - and once inside always discover some new (or not-so-new) gem of a book to lust after. An added bonus is the well written history of the book trade, paper, printing, publishing and why independent bookshops will always have a place among the Amazon.coms, Barnes & Nobles, and Costcos. I also appreciated the look and feel of this pretty little paperback - the quality of the paper, the typeface and the deckled edges were all so nice.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    [3+ stars] I really enjoyed reading the first 100 pages of this book, about the author's experiences with books and bookstores. The last part, about the bookstore business, felt dated, written over ten years ago.

  10. 5 out of 5

    K.D. Absolutely

    I had this book since March 2011 but only got interested to read it a few weeks back. I thought it was just another bookstore book and I still have 3,000+ books in my to-be-read (tbr) shelves so this book just did not pique my interest. However, we have a writing project for our book club, Pinoy Reads Pinoy Book called Tuklas Pahina. One time, I heard Bebang Siy mentioned about this book as a good one to review. One of the books that we are planning to release will include our members' reviews o I had this book since March 2011 but only got interested to read it a few weeks back. I thought it was just another bookstore book and I still have 3,000+ books in my to-be-read (tbr) shelves so this book just did not pique my interest. However, we have a writing project for our book club, Pinoy Reads Pinoy Book called Tuklas Pahina. One time, I heard Bebang Siy mentioned about this book as a good one to review. One of the books that we are planning to release will include our members' reviews of international books. I enjoyed the first chapter as I was able to relate right away to the feeling of being in a bookstore. Whenever I see a bookstore, I always also have this urge to come in even how busy I am. I like looking at the books, picking them up, checking the cover and feeling its material. I enjoy reading the blurbs and scanning the pages. I love it when the book emits a certain odor, be it brand new or musty due to old age. I thought that books with all its texts and letters are our windows to the past or even to the future (hello, speculative fictions) or potential connections to the brain of many people (the authors from different places, time and social strata). For people with limited resources, you don't really need to pay for airfare to experience other places or meet other people. If the author is good, he'll make those trips or travels possible without your leaving your house or lazy boy. I've been to bookstores in the US, in particular Barnes and Noble and some second-hand book shops in San Diego. I've been to the big international bookstores in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Japan. So, I know that our bookstores here in the Philippines are a bit different compared to these rich countries. How? Most of the books in our bookstores, particularly those selling brand-new books, are wrapped with plastic cover so you cannot browse really. Also, we don't have those comfy sofa and armchairs that you can find in the bookstores overseas. For example, in Barnes and Nobles in the US, you can sit down for the whole day without buying the book. You can go back the following day and read again. You don't need to spend a dime if you don't want to. You can just go there and read and nobody will bother you. So, in some parts of the book, I could not relate to what Buzbee is saying while he reminisces about how it was (or still is) to be in a yellow-lighted bookshop with all the westernized cool ambiance and shelves and shelves of books. In the Philippines, our bookstores are 3/4 office supplies and 1/4 books. National Book Store, the biggest bookstore chain in the Philippines, for example is said to have a rule that if the newly-release book doesn't sell for the first 3-6 months, they pull the consignment out and ask the publisher to pick them up. This is how "cruel" they are. Well, they reason that the space is expensive so they need to get the return on their investment. My favorite chapters are those that dealt with history. I had been hearing about the Library of Alexandria. It is only in this book that I actually read what it was all about. I was also amazed to know that during those days the writers work in the bookstore because they actually write the book and then if they need to sell a copy, they write, word-for-word, again! Wow. Overall, a very good book if you love about reading and books. There are just some parts of it that are not easily relatable for somebody like me from a third world country.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    The subtitle is: A Memoir, a History. That pretty much describes this book. Buzbee has been in the book business virtually his whole life, starting as a part-time clerk when he was a teen. He’s worked at the counter, in the back room and on the road (as a publisher’s rep). And he’s also visited bookshops around the world on his own – he can’t help himself. I am a big fan of independent bookstores and have been a loyal customer of several in my city. It was one of those indies that first brought t The subtitle is: A Memoir, a History. That pretty much describes this book. Buzbee has been in the book business virtually his whole life, starting as a part-time clerk when he was a teen. He’s worked at the counter, in the back room and on the road (as a publisher’s rep). And he’s also visited bookshops around the world on his own – he can’t help himself. I am a big fan of independent bookstores and have been a loyal customer of several in my city. It was one of those indies that first brought this book to my attention and I’ve wanted to read it for a long time. I think I must have built it up in my mind and my expectations were too high. As a result I feel a little disappointed. What I liked most about the book were his stories about bookshops from his personal experience, i.e. the memoir sections. But Buzbee also gives the reader a history of books – from clay tablets to scrolls to paper – and book-selling. And those sections I found less engaging. Yes they were somewhat interesting (I learned the derivation of “sheepskin” for diploma), but they were dry and lacked the personal connection of the memoir. Still, there are several sections that I’m very glad I read. One of those is Buzbee’s argument to those who say that a book is too expensive; he’s specifically addressing the $25.00 price tag of a hardcover new release. Today a San Francisco movie ticket will set you back $10.00. Two hours later, give or take, and poof, that money is nothing but your memory, at least until you pony up another $20.00 for the DVD. A 400-page novel will probably take at least 8 hours to read. Once you buy a book, it’s yours, and you can mark and look up at your leisure that one terrific paragraph that keeps floating through your head. The technology of the book is much more flexible than film, more user friendly. The reader can dip into the book at will, without electricity, and is always aware of where she is in the book, halfway through, a third of the way, mere pages from the end, her fingers helping to measure the excitement of coming to the conclusion. Watching a scene from a film in slow motion is possible, but there’s an unreal air to it; reading a passage from a book slowly does nothing to rob the words of their power.

  12. 5 out of 5

    KOMET

    Here is a book that speaks to all booklovers. We band of brothers and sisters who have experienced the special joys and satisfaction of browsing the shelves of many a bookstore in search of those books that have tickled our fancies, piqued our curiosity, and commanded our interest. The author offers an fascinating view into the history and evolution of books and bookstores throughout the world. He also shares with the reader his development from grade school into a passionate booklover who later Here is a book that speaks to all booklovers. We band of brothers and sisters who have experienced the special joys and satisfaction of browsing the shelves of many a bookstore in search of those books that have tickled our fancies, piqued our curiosity, and commanded our interest. The author offers an fascinating view into the history and evolution of books and bookstores throughout the world. He also shares with the reader his development from grade school into a passionate booklover who later came to work in a variety of bookstores in California from the 1970s and later as a sales representative for a publishing house (in which capacity, he travelled far and wide to many bookstores to promote books). So many times in reading this book, I couldn't help but agree with many of the author's comments and observations about books, independent bookstores (which I have frequented since the 1990s), the chain bookstores (such as BORDERS, which I confess I developed a deep and abiding affection and love for in the 10 years I patronized them in my adopted city), the impact of the Internet on the market for books, and the state of retail bookselling and publishing today. I strongly urge all booklovers to read this book. You will know that you are part of a unique community the world over of people who love and cherish books for the enrichment they bring to our everyday lives.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grumpus

    I so desperately want to find a good read in common with my Goodreads buds Darlene and John. Unfortunately, this is not it. Our likes are varied and disparate. So when I come across one that had the potential this one did, I was anxious to read it. I felt so confident that it got a priority move to the top of my to-read list. The combination of love for and the history of bookstores along with the book publishing industry seemed like a slam duck to me. Those are the topics that made this an excit I so desperately want to find a good read in common with my Goodreads buds Darlene and John. Unfortunately, this is not it. Our likes are varied and disparate. So when I come across one that had the potential this one did, I was anxious to read it. I felt so confident that it got a priority move to the top of my to-read list. The combination of love for and the history of bookstores along with the book publishing industry seemed like a slam duck to me. Those are the topics that made this an exciting commonality possibility for me. However, the book begins with the minutiae and the mundane of working in a book store. I had always thought that working in a bookstore would be something that I too, would like to do (and still do) but it is not something I enjoy reading about. It was so dull in the beginning that I seriously considered adding this to the could-not-finish shelf...it would have made this only the 9th book out of nearly 600 to achieve that dubious recognition. As I read on, my interest piqued a little and I thought I'd be able to get through it and give it one star. By then end however, there was enough history (which I love) for me to give it a 2-star "OK" rating. I feel guilty for not liking this...I must be the freak...and so the search for the trifecta goes on.

  14. 5 out of 5

    JG (The Introverted Reader)

    Lewis Buzbee has worked around books his entire life. He worked at the local bookstore through school, and then he worked as a publisher's rep, and I can't even remember what else. This slim, satisfying volume is almost a collection of essays about his thoughts on bookstores, books, readers, and publishing. I believe I was most excited by the first chapter of this book, "Alone Among Others." I might have things slightly confused, but I believe this was the chapter where the author spelled out th Lewis Buzbee has worked around books his entire life. He worked at the local bookstore through school, and then he worked as a publisher's rep, and I can't even remember what else. This slim, satisfying volume is almost a collection of essays about his thoughts on bookstores, books, readers, and publishing. I believe I was most excited by the first chapter of this book, "Alone Among Others." I might have things slightly confused, but I believe this was the chapter where the author spelled out the level of his book lust. I'm a voracious reader. I get it. I thought about marking the passages I liked and quickly realized I would be marking everything I was reading. The book lost me a little after that. I'm not particularly interested in the history of books or how we landed on the perfect shape for a bookstore. I did like the story of Shakespeare and Co. in Paris and how they came to publish Ulysses and the store's midnight move during WWII. At the end is a list of some of the author's favorite bookstores from various places. My own local indie, Malaprops, got a mention! It's always exciting to see local favorites mentioned in unexpected places. I love the size and shape of this book. It's a hardcover but it still fits my hands perfectly, and so I found myself just enjoying the feel of it. Also, I do love bookstores, but in my heart, I'm a library girl. My mom took my sister and me to the library as far back as I can remember. My first job was at the local library. Even now, when I have stacks upon stacks of books that I own and haven't read yet, the vast majority have come from library book sales and will in all likelihood be donated back for later sales. I get a little overwhelmed in the bookstore. What if I spend all this money on a book and it's not a keeper? I could have just checked it out from the library. Don't get me wrong--I can happily browse in a bookstore for hours, but I'm not all that likely to actually walk out with anything unless an author I love has recently published something that I just have to have. So that's where my taste and the author's diverged. That doesn't mean the book was bad. Those who do spend more time and money in bookstores will likely take more away from this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jan C

    Well, this had me up til 4 a.m. finishing. And I apparently hadn't picked it up for about a year. But it was a good book. I love book stores. Of course, I have to go a ways now to find a decent book store. There is a bookstore a few blocks from here but, as I recall, the stuff they stock isn't for me, for the most part. They will order books for you. But, then, wouldn't I just go on line and do that for myself? But I can hop in the car, drive 25 miles and go to a Barnes & Noble. I've heard th Well, this had me up til 4 a.m. finishing. And I apparently hadn't picked it up for about a year. But it was a good book. I love book stores. Of course, I have to go a ways now to find a decent book store. There is a bookstore a few blocks from here but, as I recall, the stuff they stock isn't for me, for the most part. They will order books for you. But, then, wouldn't I just go on line and do that for myself? But I can hop in the car, drive 25 miles and go to a Barnes & Noble. I've heard there is a good used book store in Asheville, but not sure of the name or where it is. I know, I could just Google it. These are some of the things the author has a bugaboo about. He spends much of the book (okay, this may date it) complaining about the web, Amazon, big box stores, etc., and how it means the destruction of the world (so did bicycles, tv, anything new). Then he actually tries a friend's Kindle. He's not quite so much against it anymore. But it is nothing like the real thing. And, if there is an independent bookstore (hopefully, better than the store around my corner), consider yourself lucky. It really didn't take 7 years to read this - it just kept getting lost on my Kindle and I didn't pick it up that often. But I never archived it. Highly recommended for people who love bookstores. Bookman's Alley, now Bookends and Beginnings - which may also soon be gone. They apparently want to put another bleeping high rise there, if comments on Facebook are to be believed. My hometown is disappearing. There are some who say that the town we grew up in is already gone.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Darlene

    This wonderful little book was written by Lewis Buzbee and if you are like me and you love books ABOUT books and reading and bookstores, you will enjoy this book. You could say that mr. Buzbee is an authority on all things related to books. Besides being a lifelong voracious reader, he also spent most of his adult life working in bookstores in California. And he also worked for years as a publisher's sales rep... explaining that to be a good sales rep, he needed to know each bookstore and book s This wonderful little book was written by Lewis Buzbee and if you are like me and you love books ABOUT books and reading and bookstores, you will enjoy this book. You could say that mr. Buzbee is an authority on all things related to books. Besides being a lifelong voracious reader, he also spent most of his adult life working in bookstores in California. And he also worked for years as a publisher's sales rep... explaining that to be a good sales rep, he needed to know each bookstore and book seller very well, becoming familiar with each store's specialty. This book, printed on beautifully heavy-weight paper, was a joy to hold in my hands. It occurred to me while reading how very different the paper used in current printed books can be. There are times, I am afraid that just the simple act of turning the page will cause it to tear. Not so with "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop". In this book, Mr. Buzbee also speaks a little about the history of book printing and book publishing through the years . A part which I found particularly interesting was his discussion of the the period of time known as the Dark Ages... where illiteracy was high and books other than the Bible were unheard of as the Church wielded tight control and influence. This period directly preceded the time of the Reformation and Renaissance which was characterized by beautifully ornate books. Mr Buzbee covered and described an array of topics in this book about books... everything from the memory of the first author and book which really inspired him to read.. and read EVERYTHING (John Steinbeck's "East of Eden"); to the rise of the 'big box' store and online shopping. He even discussed at length the over-exaggerated death of the novel and literacy due the introduction and explosion of all types of technology. And I was particularly interested in his outraged explanation of The Patriot Act and the chilling effect its passage could potentially have on our precious right to read and form ideas and articulate those ideas freely. Although this book is a slim volume, don't be fooled. It is stuffed with the fascinating history of books, bookstores and the publishing business. Mr. Buzbee includes many memories of his own favorite books and bookstores (mainly on the West Coast) ; and reading his words made me feel as if I had just met a true kindred spirit.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ellie

    I really enjoyed The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee although not quite as much as I'd thought I would. The first half of the book I zipped through, loving every word. Then suddenly I got a little bored; I just felt that I'd had enough. So after that, I began picking through, reading different sections, not necessarily in order (luckily this was from the library, not a Kindle-my biggest problem with kindle is that I can't browse the way I like to). This was a good mov I really enjoyed The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee although not quite as much as I'd thought I would. The first half of the book I zipped through, loving every word. Then suddenly I got a little bored; I just felt that I'd had enough. So after that, I began picking through, reading different sections, not necessarily in order (luckily this was from the library, not a Kindle-my biggest problem with kindle is that I can't browse the way I like to). This was a good move for me. I became interested again in the book. The second half of the book was a very different experience for me than the first half (since I read the first half linearly & the second half not) but just about as enjoyable. Lewis Buzbee knows his bookstores. He also understands and has a commanding grasp of their place in history, their history, and their place in our culture both past and present. I learned a fair amount about the printing press, market/fair booksellers and the book business generally but what I liked best was Buzbee's fascination/obsession with all things books and the atmosphere of the small bookstore-or any bookstore. I love to take my Kindle & sit in Barnes & Noble-yes, I know, but I don't have a nook, & just be alone with people and my book. And so does Buzbee.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    I read this book in a day. One blissful day. I perused the reviews before I bought it and many were along the lines of "That's exactly how I feel," or "This could have been written just for me." I am no different. I too was caught up in the anonymous camaraderie of "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop", delighted to be alone together with other book-lusters (the term 'bibliophile' sounds so posh and really just doesn't cut it) practically giddy at how easily it is to relate to Buzbee, how delightful to s I read this book in a day. One blissful day. I perused the reviews before I bought it and many were along the lines of "That's exactly how I feel," or "This could have been written just for me." I am no different. I too was caught up in the anonymous camaraderie of "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop", delighted to be alone together with other book-lusters (the term 'bibliophile' sounds so posh and really just doesn't cut it) practically giddy at how easily it is to relate to Buzbee, how delightful to see one's own thoughts and feelings expressed so exactly, so well, by someone one has never met or seen, and know that thousands of other faceless strangers feel precisely the same way. This book is a treasure, not only as a charming memoir of a fellow book nerd, but as a history of 'book-handling.' I learned a great deal and enjoyed every minute. I want to recommend this to everyone, yet feel the odd reluctance to share, wanting to keep it for myself, hesitant to show others what makes me tick... my deep-seated and inexplicable book-lust for which I'm wholly unrepentant. But to hoard it, to hide it, would not only cruelly deprive people the pleasure of reading it, but it would also do this book, Mr. Buzbee and all the publishers and editors who worked very hard on it a great disservice indeed. So, yes, I recommend this. I will tell my friends to buy it, on e-format or a traditional (good-smelling) paper copy from their favourite bricks and mortar bookshop... the kind that all of us book-lusters adore.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leon

    Buzbee's heart is in the right place, but his writing skills and treatment of history do not quite match his love of bookshops. In trying to elevate bookshops, he falls into cliched language and clumsily executed metaphors. He also juxtaposes episodes from the history of bookselling with his own recollections. This is meant to provide reading variety while educating the lay reader, but the historical anecdotes are treated without rigour (sadly, this is what passes for "accessibility" these days) Buzbee's heart is in the right place, but his writing skills and treatment of history do not quite match his love of bookshops. In trying to elevate bookshops, he falls into cliched language and clumsily executed metaphors. He also juxtaposes episodes from the history of bookselling with his own recollections. This is meant to provide reading variety while educating the lay reader, but the historical anecdotes are treated without rigour (sadly, this is what passes for "accessibility" these days). For example, at one point he expresses the price of "books" in Ancient Rome in the currency of the time and gives an equivalent dollar amount. But what the contemporary reader understands as "ten dollars" is completely different from what an Ancient Roman citizen would have understood. Such a comparison makes little sense. The most interesting parts of Buzbee's book occur when he recounts his experiences in book retail on the West Coast from the late 70s to the 90s. His reflections and comments are also informative and sincere. The section containing his personal bookshop recommendations is a sweet touch. This would have been a stronger book if he had devoted more space to his experiences and the people he met. And what is the titular "yellow-lighted bookshop"? Buzbee never explains, to the reader's puzzlement.

  20. 5 out of 5

    cameron

    Deliciously delightful for all readers who live for those Rainy Tuesdays in a small bookshop. Necessary reading for all of here.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ycel

    This book vividly captures the book lover’s inner thoughts as he steps into a bookshop, a place to be “alone among others.” It gives an interesting history of the book, the bookshop and its cousin, the coffeehouse, and includes a stirring account of how James Joyce’s Ulysses got published and how the booksellers were affected by the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie. A delightful read, it gives the book geek a heads-up on the bookstores to visit in the US and Europe, and posits the likely futu This book vividly captures the book lover’s inner thoughts as he steps into a bookshop, a place to be “alone among others.” It gives an interesting history of the book, the bookshop and its cousin, the coffeehouse, and includes a stirring account of how James Joyce’s Ulysses got published and how the booksellers were affected by the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie. A delightful read, it gives the book geek a heads-up on the bookstores to visit in the US and Europe, and posits the likely future of books and brick-and-mortar bookstores with the advent of e-books and Amazon.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Anyone who loves bookstores and books will love this fascinating memoir of bookseller and author Lewis Buzbee. Bookselling is only part of the adventure of loving books that Buzbee shares. You will find yourself nodding your head in agreement with his descriptions and opinions while learning some interesting information about books, printing, and the business of selling books.

  23. 4 out of 5

    John

    One of my better reads for the year so far. Focuses on Buzbee's career in the book biz, with historical background on publishing in general. Strikes just the right balance between educational and general-interest.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    Lewis Buzbee's The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is called both a memoir and a history. It is both. It's the story of his love affair with books and bookstores. It's also a history of printing, publishing, and bookselling. Or, as he says, it "extols the virtues of the brick-and-mortar bookstore". As someone who loves the world of books, bookstores and libraries, there are passages I loved. Upon entering a bookstore, he says, "I can't help but feel the possibility of the universe unfolding a little, onc Lewis Buzbee's The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is called both a memoir and a history. It is both. It's the story of his love affair with books and bookstores. It's also a history of printing, publishing, and bookselling. Or, as he says, it "extols the virtues of the brick-and-mortar bookstore". As someone who loves the world of books, bookstores and libraries, there are passages I loved. Upon entering a bookstore, he says, "I can't help but feel the possibility of the universe unfolding a little, once upon a time." The book, originally published in 2006, and updated in 2008, acknowledges the Internet, recognizes the growth of Amazon, but predates the closure of Borders. While noting the closing of so many independent bookstores, it also celebrates the growth of new ones. Eight years, the time span since the book originally came out, seems an eternity in the world of bookstores. Buzbee worked in bookstores, and as a publisher's rep to bookstores. Most of all, he is a lover of books. He celebrates the history of of books, the history of publishing. He talks about bookstores, their roles in the battles against censorship, famous bookstores, and his favorite ones. And, for all of us who were once adolescents who were awakened by the discovery of one special book, or the discovery of the world of books, he offers recognition. "Take someone who likes to read; give her a comfy place to do so and ample time for doing it, add one good book, and then more; stand back." The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is a little nostalgia, some history, and a glimpse of optimism for the future of books and readers. Lewis Buzbee knows that it's still important for someone to put a book in another person's hands. So, just to satisfy the curiosity of an author who won't read this commentary, I'll trace the history of this particular copy. It's a paperback, a reprint of the hardcover. I don't know where it originally came from, but someone bought it used at Powell's Books. And, then, they donated it to our library, where I bought it from the Friends' bookstore. So, for Lewis Buzbee. It came from a books-and-mortar bookstore to a public library, the two places where people still put books in people's hands, and still celebrate and talk about books. A perfect path for The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop. Lewis Buzbee's website is www.lewisbuzbee.com

  25. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I feel like I could read books about books all year and not get tired of them. This one was partly a memoir about the author's life working in bookstores, and partly a history about books and bookstores through the years from the very beginning of their existence. There were a lot of times when I felt that he understood my love of books and bookstores and just reading in general. There were several interesting facts about books that I learned such as: "the book covers of the Middle Ages were hea I feel like I could read books about books all year and not get tired of them. This one was partly a memoir about the author's life working in bookstores, and partly a history about books and bookstores through the years from the very beginning of their existence. There were a lot of times when I felt that he understood my love of books and bookstores and just reading in general. There were several interesting facts about books that I learned such as: "the book covers of the Middle Ages were heavy, wooden boards (most often beech wood, in German "buche", hence our word book)" "In the fourth century [AD], to keep their advantage, Egyptians forbid the export of papyrus. To make up for the lack of papyrus, the librarians and booksellers of Pergamum used sheepskin or goatskin to create a new writing surface called parchment, which, in Latin means 'of Pergamum'" The approximate breakdown of where the money from the sale of a $25 book goes is like this: (it varies from book to book) Author $1.88 Printer $3.00 Publisher $8.87 Bookseller $11.25 I personally think that it's ridiculous that the author gets the least amount! There would be no book to publish in the first place without their imagination and hard work. Anyway, the author makes a pretty good case for patronizing bookstores and continuing in our love of good books. I was inspired to look up local independent bookstores nearby and I look forward to checking them out. There were 7 cuss words in the whole book. If my conservative friends would like me to I can white them out if they buy the book, because I bookmarked the pages on my kindle. The author did use BCE and CE instead of BC and AD which prompted me to make up words in my head to help me remember the truth; Before Christ Enters and Christ Evermore. Oh, and one more thing that I thought was neat! He mentioned one store that had signs near the front entrance, each with an arrow pointing to a different half of the store; one sign said Facts, the other Truth. I really liked that because I believe there is a lot of truth to be found in a good fiction book. This was my choice for the memoir category on the 2015 ultimate reading challenge by popsugar.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Irwan

    A bookshops is an oasis in which we engage "in the free and unrestricted congress of ideas". A place where we can be alone with everybody else. And the time goes as pleasantly-paced as we want. Where literary serendipities, such as overhearing other book-lusters, can spark interest in new authors or books. This is the mental picture I have while going through this delightful book. I am quite sure I share it with the author. It did across my mind to apply for weekend job at local bookstores just A bookshops is an oasis in which we engage "in the free and unrestricted congress of ideas". A place where we can be alone with everybody else. And the time goes as pleasantly-paced as we want. Where literary serendipities, such as overhearing other book-lusters, can spark interest in new authors or books. This is the mental picture I have while going through this delightful book. I am quite sure I share it with the author. It did across my mind to apply for weekend job at local bookstores just for the fun of it. Some employee discount wouldn't hurt. However, the book was written with a backdrop of the decline of the book industry due to the internet commerce and e-book. (Or the jet skis? LOL! p.124) A former book industry practitioner himself, the author, to my delight, presents a hopeful yet pragmatic view. It was a few years before the arrival of the iPad. A gadget which lives now side-by-side with my paper books. By the way, I read this book in a nice paper edition I bought from amazon.co.uk after having stumbled upon it a few years ago in goodreads.com, a source of my literary serendipities lately. And now I am writing this comment! We surely are no longer living the the same world as 20-30 years ago. But I think nothing can change people smitten with book-lust like us.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kaci

    Oh man. I don't even know how to begin describing this book. First, let me say that every book-lover, book enthusiast, every person that is literally passionate about books, should read this book. I was taking notes out of this book, there so many good nuggets to take away for me personally, for my library, and for the future of my sweet baby E's reading. It covers a wide variety of subjects within the arena of books, what books inspired the author throughout his life, how the bookstore industry Oh man. I don't even know how to begin describing this book. First, let me say that every book-lover, book enthusiast, every person that is literally passionate about books, should read this book. I was taking notes out of this book, there so many good nuggets to take away for me personally, for my library, and for the future of my sweet baby E's reading. It covers a wide variety of subjects within the arena of books, what books inspired the author throughout his life, how the bookstore industry works, the history of the book, the printing press, and bookstores across the world. It hits on intellectual freedom, banned books week, the internet bookstore vs. the brink and mortar book store. It gives interesting historical accounts of great events in history that have forged the author and his/her works into an era of greatness. I loved learning about Shakespeare and Co. in Paris, the weekend read-in in bookstores around the nation to support Rushdie's Satanic Verses, and The Tattered Cover in Denver which I HAVE TO GO TO NOW!!!! I purchased this book for my library but I know I will purchase a copy for myself. My bookshelf at home now feels naked without this book. Long live passion for knowledge and entertainment through the printed word!!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Hastings

    I LOVED this book. For those that like to seek retreat into bookshops to calm down or relax, or to flick through books you know, to be reunited with favourite chapters or characters, for those who spend their time seeking out independent bookshops, and taking pleasure in buying a book there that you know you could get cheaper online, then this is for you. The author worked in a number of independent bookshops in San Fransisco writes a memoir to the bookshop. However each chapter sandwiched with a I LOVED this book. For those that like to seek retreat into bookshops to calm down or relax, or to flick through books you know, to be reunited with favourite chapters or characters, for those who spend their time seeking out independent bookshops, and taking pleasure in buying a book there that you know you could get cheaper online, then this is for you. The author worked in a number of independent bookshops in San Fransisco writes a memoir to the bookshop. However each chapter sandwiched with a plotted history of how bookshops developed, how books were made and reflects on the mass market and the demise of the independent shops. He is well travelled, knows Hay on Wye, and tells a lovely story about Shakespeare and Co. in the war, how it shut down in four hours because the Nazi's were returning later that day to confiscate the books. The nazi's arrived bewildered, as even the name had been painted over. The owner got all her friends to help move everything , four flights up the stairs. This man knows his stuff, and loves bookshops,and if you do too, as I imagine many of you do, this a gem!

  29. 5 out of 5

    April

    I love books about books, and the people who love them. My favorite parts of this book are when Buzbee recounts his times working in bookshops, and when he writes about when The Satanic Verses was written how the bookshops stood up for the author and sold to book, even though there were death threats and vandalism. My favorite chapters are "Along Among Others" where he talks about working in the bookstore and his love for books as a young man; "Not My Doolittle You Don't" where he comments on ba I love books about books, and the people who love them. My favorite parts of this book are when Buzbee recounts his times working in bookshops, and when he writes about when The Satanic Verses was written how the bookshops stood up for the author and sold to book, even though there were death threats and vandalism. My favorite chapters are "Along Among Others" where he talks about working in the bookstore and his love for books as a young man; "Not My Doolittle You Don't" where he comments on banned books (some from experience some from history); and finally "The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop" when Buzbee lists his favorite bookshops and details about them. Why didn't I give this 5 stars? Though I did enjoy learning about the history of the bookseller and books, he really shines more when he writes about his personal life, which is what I really wanted to read. I like some history, but there are a few chapters with really nothing of his life. I suggest this book for booksellers and anyone who has a love affair with books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    I love books. Obviously. And I equally love books about books. Buzbee’s slender volume The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is one of these gems. It alternates between being a memoir about Buzbee’s career as a book lover and seller, and a brief history of the book, booksellers, and publishers. Along the way, Buzbee sheds light on the Elizabethan origins of the long-held love affair between the coffeeshop and the bookstore (epitomized today by the Starbucks cafes within most Barnes & Nobles), the impo I love books. Obviously. And I equally love books about books. Buzbee’s slender volume The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is one of these gems. It alternates between being a memoir about Buzbee’s career as a book lover and seller, and a brief history of the book, booksellers, and publishers. Along the way, Buzbee sheds light on the Elizabethan origins of the long-held love affair between the coffeeshop and the bookstore (epitomized today by the Starbucks cafes within most Barnes & Nobles), the importance of the independent bookseller in publishing during the first several decades of this last century (Sylvia Beach’s Shakespeare & Co. courageously backing James Joyce’s Ulysses because of obscenity laws in the United States at the time, for example), and even highlights a number of remarkable independent booksellers that are still alive and thriving today (Powell’s in Portland, my slice of heaven on earth, earning a mention). If you love books, and especially books about books, this is one lovingly written testimony to the written word that you can’t afford to miss.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.