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Bibliophile swapping book towns

Shaun Bythell, owner of The Book Shop in Wigtown, Scotland. The store is the largest second-hand bookshop in the country. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

An acclaimed Scottish author and seller of rare and second-hand books is coming to Featherston.

Shaun Bythell will be the guest at a Featherston Booktown author’s event on August 27.

Bythell owns The Book Shop in Wigtown, Scotland’s National Booktown.

He is one of the top national and international authors who will feature in this year’s WORD Christchurch from August 29 to September 2.

His book, The Diary of a Bookseller, was described by a reviewer in the Irish Times as “one of the funniest and most honest books you’ll read this year”.

“It’s a real treat for book nerds, with stories of obnoxious customers, occasional discoveries of rare literary gems, and the extermination of a Kindle by shooting, and proudly mounting it as a trophy in the shop.”

Bythell will be speaking in Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin as well as Christchurch during his tour.

Featherston Booktown founder and owner of Messines Bookshop Lincoln Gould said getting Bythell to come to Wairarapa was something of a fluke.

“We went cap in hand to Rachael King, the Director of WORD Christchurch, and asked if it might be possible for Shaun to come to our small town, about the size of Wigtown.

“Rachael’s reply was, ‘Yes, as long as you can organise a day’s trout fishing for him’.

“That proved to be easy with a couple of keen local fishermen volunteering to take Shaun out. But it will be August and the rivers might be somewhat cloudy so we have a Plan B.”

Aside from recounting tales from his diary, Bythell will also discuss the experiences of Wigtown as a Booktown in a discussion with Sue Ryan of Mr Feather’s Den, as well as signing copies of his book.

The Featherston event will be held at The Loft on Tarureka Estate, Donald St, at 7pm on August 27. Tickets are $20 available on Event Finder, and at Featherston bookshops.

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