Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Yellow Lighted Bookshop:A beacon of biblio bliss

One of my favorite non fiction catagories is known as books about books and a subgenre of that would be books about bookselling. Lewis Buzbee's new book,The Yellow Lighted Bookshop is a must read for those who not only have many other titles on the same subject but for those who only see a bookstore as just another place to buy stuff. You won't think that way anymore after reading this book-it's a definative eye opener for booklovers of all stripes.

Buzbee recounts his working experiences in the book world(he worked at several independant book stores such as The UpStart Crow and Printers,Inc,then later became a publisher's sales rep)as well as mixing in some bookseller history and thoughts about the latest changes in bookselling. Even if you're very well versed in the history of books,you'll find some new fun fact to mull over. One chapter highlights some of his favorite places to buy books in the U.S and abroad(for folks who take bookstore tours,YLBS can give some great ideas for your vacation plans).

What I really like about YLBS is the easy conversational tone of the writing;it's like having a wonderful long talk with a good buddy who's seen it all and yet is not a cynic about the present and future of literacy. He speaks from life experience(just a few paragraphs about how tricky shelving is more than convinced me that Buzbee knows his stuff)and has some interesting opinions,such as having all citizens do a mandatory two years of working retail(his theory is that it will not only help the economy but create better customers who'll be a lot more understanding towards the sales staff having walked a mile in their shoes. Not a bad idea.)

Like many who write in this genre,Buzbee has a major fanlove for a certain author and his icon is John Steinbeck. He doesn't overly swoon over Steinbeck's work but rather has a clear and open admiration. He even visited Cannery Row(which has vastly changed from Steinbeck's time)and as someone who's visited a few Jane Austen sites myself,I can understand how he felt seeing it as part of the wider world yet still within his reach.

Buzbee also talks about the many friends he's made over the years thru books such as Greta Ray(who he first met at The Upstart Crow) and others who have taken many unique turns in life-one former friend from his days at Printers now has a bookstore/tatoo parlor out in Garberville,CA. This is the kind of book I'd give to a good friend and hopefully many other readers will feel the same way. The Yellow Lighted Bookshop is due out in June(please click the title link for more details)so keep a sharp eye out for it at a bookstore near you. It's a short but sweetly savvy look at what many consider to be their second home away from home.


Jake McCafferty said...

I think you can now be classified as a "power book blogger." A lot of stuff for me to catch up reading here.

lady t said...

Yes,but I must remember to use my powers for good not evil-MUHAHAHAHA!!!

Seriously,summer time is nigh upon us and it's a good time to hunker down with some good reads(especially YLBS!).