Monday, December 04, 2006

THE YELLOW-LIGHTED BOOKSHOP

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop, Lewis Buzbee, Graywolf Press, 2006, 216 pp


Another wonderful book about books and bookstores, this little volume went down like a pint of Ben and Jerry's. Buzbee evokes the true nature of book lust like no other writer I've read. I always like finding out that I am not alone nor hopelessly geeky in my love for books.

Lewis Buzbee has worked in bookstores and bookselling for most of his adult life, though he now teaches writing because he has a family to support. He freely acknowledges that bookselling is not a well compensated career path. Between the sections that are a memoir of his career, he tells the history of books, bookmaking, publishing and bookselling from the earliest days of the famous library in Alexandria. It all fits together seamlessly.

His message is clear: books and writing are the unsung heroes of freedom; as in the truth will keep us free. I felt reaffirmed in my belief that though the major publishers have been swallowed up by conglomerates, there will always be small, rebellious upstarts who will write, publish and run bookstores here and there in the nooks and crannies of the world. Of course, there will always be readers.

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