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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop

A Memoir, a History
Paperback Book
October, 2008
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$17.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

In The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Lewis Buzbee 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 to his first jobs clerking in bookstores and his short career as a publisher’s rep. When he describes walking into a bookstore, feasting his eyes on the walls lined with books, gravitating to the tables stacked with new issues and then discovering some volume so irresistibly beautiful he just has to buy it, you realize that he just doesn’t love books, he’s besotted.

November, a dark rainy Tuesday, late afternoon. This is my ideal time to be in a bookstore. The shortened light of the afternoon and 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.

Woven throughout is a fascinating historical account of bookmaking and the bookseller’s trade—from the scriptoriums in Roman bookshops where the wealthy could order a book copied, to the great Alexandria library, and on to Sylvia Beach’s famous Paris bookstore, Shakespeare & Co.

Buzbee offers a strong chapter in praise of free-speech loving booksellers. He takes us on a tour of his favorite shops, among them Square Books in Oxford, Miss., and City Lights in San Francisco—a leisurely stroll with a knowledgeable but unpretentious companion through some very interesting aisles. 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.

“An ode to the raptures of browsing, and a tribute to the ingenuities of vending—rekindles and rationalizes my love for bookstores, those sometimes ramshackle dream palaces.” —Wayne Koestenbaum


Publisher’s Description: 

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.

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