Books: The Yellow-Lighted BookshopWhy I am recommending this book:
I love hanging out in bookstores, I think because anything feels possible in a bookstore. Surrounded by all of those thoughts and ideas tucked between the covers and arranged upon the shelves makes me feel a profound sense of adventure and optimism. Lewis Buzbee gets it about Bookstores!
For Buzbee, a former bookseller and publishing rep, time spent in a bookstore is nothing short of sublime. "Standing in the middle of this confluence, I can't help but feel the possibility of the universe unfolding a little, once upon a time," he writes in the opening chapter of this slim, luminous volume. Buzbee manages just the right mix of history lesson and personal recollection. He reflects upon the roots of the book trade (the first great library at Alexandria, where the vast holdings were each hand copied by scribes onto papyrus scrolls); the progression of retail (from simple market stalls to book hawkers to the megastores of today); and his own hours lovingly logged at the literary chain store, Upstart Crow, where, as an eager teenager in San Jose, California, he learned the ins and outs of the business. Bookstores, Buzbee reminds us, are not just places of intellectual indulgence; they're historically significant, too. The celebrated Paris establishment, Shakespeare & Co., was the first to publish James Joyce's Ulysses, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti's City Lights gave voice to Allen Ginsberg's Howl. Both anecdotal and eloquent, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop is a tribute to those who crave the cozy confines of a bookshop, a place to be "alone among others" and savor a bountiful literary buffet.