I read The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, by Lewis Buzbee, based on Eva’s review at A Striped Armchair, and I loved every bit of it. It is a positively delightful book, written by a book-lover for book-lovers. Lewis Buzbee writes about his own life as a bookseller and publisher sales rep interspersed with a history of books and bookstores. Although the description may not sound thrilling, it is his writing and the images and feelings he evokes that bring the book to life, as a tribute to books, bookstores, and free expression of ideas.
I wrote down several quotes, although it was difficult to select what to write down, since the whole book was just one delectable image or idea after another. If the first sentence draws you in, then you should probably read the book:
When I walk into a bookstore, any bookstore, first thing in the morning, I’m flooded with a sense of hushed excitement.
One quote in particular made me want to work in a bookstore:
The nature of the bookstore workspace is one of freedom and flexibility, the sense of being in the public arena while doing private tasks, the sense of involvement with the day and the strangers who wander through it. This is the public square, an extension of the street, the marketplace. and physically, sensually, working the floor offers more air to breathe than cubicle or office life, a keener sense of the day’s changing light, the shape and curve of the seasons. Working the floor is working in the world, being a part of it, rather than stowed away from it.
This quote captures perfectly why I dislike working in an office, and why I have always romanticized the thought of working in a library or bookstore (particularly a used bookstore). I like to be out in the world through-out the day, not tucked away in an artificial environment. And to be surrounded by books all day – what could be better? However, I do realize that working in a bookstore is not all fun and games, and Buzbee does mention some of the negative aspects. Overall, though, it still sounds appealing to a book-lover like me.
In any case, if you are a book-lover, go read this book.