Reading Confessions of a Bookseller, it is natural to feel some sympathy for Bythell on those winter days when the town is buffeted by Atlantic storms and the day’s takings drop below £20. But then we find him sloping off to go salmon fishing with his father, hosting a packed author event or spending a long drunken evening reading out favourite poems with friends, and it is hard not to conclude that he has found his idyll after all.
I was an early champion of The Diary of a Bookseller, the first curmudgeonly chronicle from the owner of The Bookshop in Wigtown. Since then, the book has sold shedloads, and remarkably has also been translated into 20 languages, including Russian, Korean and French. It is also soon to be a major TV series. Part the Second is Shaun's diary of 2015, and all our favourite characters are back, including Captain the cat, Nicky and the Death to Kindle mugs. Plus there's a new Italian assistant nicknamed Granny. It's like a north of the border Archers, but with better-read characters.