by which I mean still coughing, sneezing and streaming. I know I am not alone: others have been suffering from this exceptionally long-lived virus. Luckily I am not short of reading material. And one book I’ve particularly enjoyed is Lewis Buzbee’s The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop.
‘November, a dark, rainy Tuesday, late 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.’ How could I not love a books which so much reflects my own feelings about books and bookshops? The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is partly a brief history of the bookshop,partly a memoir, focusing on the author’s early career working in bookshops and as a publisher’s rep, but above all an expression of the author’s love of books and bookshops. It is a beautiful little object in its own right as is fitting: an attractive cover, rough-cut pages of acid-free paper, type set in Concorde. It is a little expensive for a paper-back but well worth it. This would be the ideal present for the bibliophiles in your life.
I loved reading about Buzbee’s favourite bookshops, among them City Lights in San Franciso, and Shakespeare and Co in Paris. I’d find it hard to pick one favourite, but I am very fond of Scarthin Books in Cromford (a mixture of old and new), and for new books and crime fiction in particular, Heffers in Cambridge can’t be beaten. What are yours?