Monday, January 15, 2007

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A memoir, a history - Lewis Buzbee

Books Completed:4
Completion Date: January 15, 2007
Publication Year: 2006
Pages: 216
Owned Prior to 2007

From the flap:

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, the joy of 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. Woven throughout is a fascinating historical account of the bookseller trade—from the great Alexandria library with an estimated one million papyrus scrolls to Sylvia Beach’s famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., that led to the extraordinary effort to publish and sell James Joyce’s Ulysses. Rich with anecdotes, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is the perfect choice for those who relish the enduring pleasures of spending an afternoon finding just the right book.
I actually started this book last year, but it vanished and I just found it again, so I am happy to finally complete it. It was never a book I meant to not complete, anyways.

During my original reading of this book, I posted this, where I asked what that early book was that you read, loved the author, and read all that there was to read by that author. Other thoughts have presented themselves to me as I have read this book. My biggest question came to me as I was reading the last few pages. Can anyone ever see a world where e-books would be preferred over the actual feeling of a book in your hands? I can understand that there are situations where having this option open would be a good thing, but I cannot imagine not having books in my house, not holding the book in my hand and flipping the pages. What about everyone else?

While reading this book I thought about how I have become cheap. I love browsing bookstores, but if I go into an independant store where the books are regularly priced, I find myself finding a few books and buying them later on amazon or another chain store. I think a lot of that is the prices that books are nowadays. Today I bought two novels for school. They are in essence trade paperbacks. I get up to the cash and she asks me for sixty dollars. I said "what?". I couldn't believe the price, I thought I must have heard her wrong. I had to have the books, so I did not even pay attention to the price, but that just blew me away. If I had known that, if I had planned a bit ahead, I likely would have searched for those books online and found them cheaper. For someone that reads about 150 books a year, and has a very bad library, I need to be able to get books at a price that it is not going to break my bank account.

This book was very informative about the book-selling industry. I have to admit, I wish that it was Canadian, because it gave info that was very Americanized and I was not really sure if it even applied in Canada, but in essence, it was a very interesting read. I like to read books about books. I think it was a very interesting read.


Author Gender:
Female: 3
Male: 1

This was a new to me author.


  1. I read this book at the end of last year. It made me think about my LBS (local book store), but as I read so much in English (and live in Germany) amazon will still get most of my money.

  2. I'm keeping an eye out for this book in my favorite used bookstore.

    I cannot imagine e-books, no. There is only so much that a flat screen can give you, and the book experience (especially cuddled under blankets, with a cuppa tea and some kitties draped over your feet) cannot be equalled.

  3. P.S. 4 books already?!! Bloody hell! I am barely through one!

  4. I don't think I would ever trade a a real-life book in my hands for a screen. It just wouldn't be the same and books are so much more portable - you can take them anywhere!

    As for book prices, even though it has been 20 years since my college days, I can remember the "sticker shock" at paying $40 - $60+ for a text book. Gee, do I eat this week or be prepared for class!!

    I buy a lot of books on ebay,, bookcloseouts or abebooks. Those that I can get cheap, I do and save the difference for those that I can't. I thought I saw that had textbooks, but it's probably one of those things that you can't find what you need when you need it!

  5. I have this one sitting on my nightstand, a borrowed copy from the library - I can't wait to read it!


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