Essential reading when visiting Wigtown, Dumfries and Galloway

  • Book: The Diary of a Bookseller
  • Location: Wigtown
  • Author: Shaun Bythell

Review Author: MandaNReads



We camped at Loch Ken, Dumfries and Galloway this August so as a fiction addict I simply had to visit Wigtown that was an hours drive away. Wigtown is Scotland’s Book Town as Hay-on Wye is to England and Wales (being a border town).

I visited Shaun’s shop, (Scotland’s largest bookstore) whilst there and realised I had his first published book seller memoir still unread on my shelves at home.

I’ve just corrected this and can report I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would ( hence why it stayed unread for so long).

Lots of quirky details within a year of diary entries including till takings and online book orders made daily. Bizarrely these facts were fascinating! The highs and lows of book selling graphically and seemingly honestly detailed by the author.

From a travel perspective, had I read this before or during my trip I would have sought out some of the local places Shaun describes including the beach where he loves to swim.

There’s a real sense of place and neighbourhood throughout that draws the reader in. Ordinary people living their day to day within a town that has struggled economically over the past years.

This memoir is easy to digest and funny.

It’s a beautiful town where parking in the streets around the main shops is free. An abundance of independent book shops to visit and I recommend not only a trip to Wigtown but this book too. (It can of course be purchased in Shaun’s shop!) There’s a co op and plenty of pubs and cafes.

The surrounding coast areas are stunning, a part of Scotland that deserves to be visited more than it is. Off the beaten track though so perfect for those who seek some solitude.

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