April 25, 2018
Today in gorgeously harmonious anti-Amazon music: Death to the Kindle by the Bookshop Band
by Melville House
In Scotland, there’s a magical village called Wigtown, loaded with bookshops. And one of those bookshops—the largest used bookstore in Scotland, which bears the matter-of-fact name The Bookshop—is run by a guy named Shaun Bythell. Shaun Bythell’s excellent.
So excellent, in fact, that when he published his gut-bustingly funny journal as The Diary of a Bookseller, he charmed the bejeezus out of his native United Kingdom, and had a major bestseller on his hands. And no surprise — it’s a book overflowing with vivid, hilarious characters (Sandy the tattooed pagan, anyone?), ongoing struggles (“I must remember to apply for the James Patterson grant”), and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of bravado wit. The Daily Mail called it “warm, witty, and laugh-out-loud funny.” The Observer called it “wonderfully entertaining.” You get the idea.
Oh yeah, one more thing about Shaun Bythell? He dislikes Kindles. Strongly.
We’re very delighted to be bringing The Diary of a Bookseller to US readers this September.
In the meantime, to psych yourself up for Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday, here are some friends of Shaun’s, the Bookshop Band. They don’t like Kindles, either, and, after reading The Diary of a Bookseller, they wrote this song to explain why. The video finds them singing it at the Book Shop, right next to a long list of Shaun’s rules for customers (“No bulk discounts,” “Don’t ask where our counter came from,” etc.)
(Warning: This is disarmingly beautiful.)
And I used to care
But now I can’t bear
When you ask me why this rare book is so… much