Readers tend to love bookstores as well as books about books. Lewis Buzbee's The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is first and foremost a love story. It is about reading, hanging out with readers, talking about books, learning about books, and generally living a book-based life. On some level, my fellow bloggers, isn't that what we all aspire to?
I ended up tweeting about this book a lot as Buzbee knows how to turn a phrase. Here's a selection of the quotes that I tweeted:
"Books are slow. They require time. They are written slowly, published slowly, and read slowly."
"From its inception, the English coffeehouse is one of the most innovative and democratic forums in Europe."
"The difference between writers and authors, John Steinbeck once said, is that authors appear on the Today Show."
"The form and expense of the medieval book had as much to do with the shrinking tide of knowledge as with the church's censorship."
"How do you press a wild flower into the pages of an e-book?"
"...complaining has never been a solid business plan."
I loved reading about the various bookstores that Buzbee has worked in. I loved reading about the history of books--from the development of binding and paper to the itinerant bookseller to the marriage of the coffeehouse to the bookstore. I enjoyed hearing Buzbee's optimism (in stark contrast to the usual gloom and doom stuff) regarding the future of reading, books, and readers.
I think the best thing about The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is the energy that Buzbee imparts--here is a fellow reader writing about something that defines him as a person, and that happens to be something I can relate to...the love of reading.
This is the book you want to give as a gift to other readers. This is the book you want to take with you when you travel so that you can visit all the wonderful bookstores that Buzbee writes about.
All I can say is Read On!