Books written on bookstores

Magical, full of promise and desire, bookstores are keepers of memories and the ever deepening guilt of not reading through enough books or not having enough time.
bookstores books-on-places booklovers books-on-books
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Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

About the book:  A gleeful and exhilarating tale of global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, high-tech data visualization, young love, rollicking adventure, and the secret to eternal life—mostly set in a hole-in-the-wall San Francisco bookstore The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead "checking out" impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he's embarked on a complex analysis of the customers' behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what's going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore. With irresistible brio and dazzling intelligence, Robin Sloan has crafted a literary adventure story for the twenty-first century, evoking both the fairy-tale charm of Haruki Murakami and the enthusiastic novel-of-ideas wizardry of Neal Stephenson or a young Umberto Eco, but with a unique and feisty sensibility that's rare to the world of literary fiction. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is exactly what it sounds like: an establishment you have to enter and will never want to leave, a modern-day cabinet of wonders ready to give a jolt of energy to every curious reader, no matter the time of day.

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The Little Paris Bookshop

by Nina George

About the book:  The international bestseller, translated from the German by Simon Pare. On a beautifully restored barge on the Seine, Jean Perdu runs a bookshop; or rather a 'literary apothecary', for this bookseller possesses a rare gift for sensing which books will soothe the troubled souls of his customers. The only person he is unable to cure, it seems, is himself. He has nursed a broken heart ever since the night, twenty-one years ago, when the love of his life fled Paris, leaving behind a handwritten letter that he has never dared read. His memories and his love have been gathering dust - until now. The arrival of an enigmatic new neighbour in his eccentric apartment building on Rue Montagnard inspires Jean to unlock his heart, unmoor the floating bookshop and set off for Provence, in search of the past and his beloved.

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Footnotes from the World's Greatest Bookstores

by Bob Eckstein

About the book:  From beloved New Yorker cartoonist Bob Eckstein, Footnotes from the World’s Greatest Bookstores invites you into the heart and soul of every community: the local bookshop, each with its own quirks, charms, and legendary stories. This collection of seventy-five of the most cherished bookstores from around the world features evocative paintings by Eckstein paired with colorful anecdotes about each shop, featuring a roster of great thinkers and artists of our time, including David Bowie, Tom Wolfe, Joe Frank, Tracy Chevalier, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Palin, Roz Chast, Deepak Chopra, Bob Odenkirk, Robin Williams, Patricia Marx, Philip Glass, Paul McCartney, Dave Berry, Michael Jackson, Jonathan Ames, Terry Gross, Mark Maron, Neil Gaiman, Ann Patchett, Jo Nesbo, Diane Keaton, Chris Ware, Molly Crabapple, Amitav Ghosh, Patti Smith, Mo Willems, Alice Munro, Dave Eggers, Roxanna Robinson, Garrison Keillor and many more. Page by page, Eckstein perfectly captures our lifelong love affair with books, bookstores, and book-sellers that is at once heartfelt, bittersweet, and cheerfully confessional. From the Hardcover edition.

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Time Was Soft There

by Jeremy Mercer

About the book:  "Some bookstores are filled with stories both inside and outside the bindings. These are places of sanctuary, even redemption---and Jeremy Mercer has found both amid the stacks of Shakespeare & Co." ---Paul Collins, author of Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books In a small square on the left bank of the Seine, the door to a green-fronted bookshop beckoned. . . . With gangsters on his tail and his meager savings in hand, crime reporter Jeremy Mercer fled Canada in 1999 and ended up in Paris. Broke and almost homeless, he found himself invited to a tea party amongst the riffraff of the timeless Left Bank fantasy known as Shakespeare & Co. In its present incarnation, Shakespeare & Co. has become a destination for writers and readers the world over, trying to reclaim the lost world of literary Paris in the 1920s. Having been inspired by Sylvia Beach's original store, the present owner, George Whitman, invites writers who are down and out in Paris to live and dream amid the bookshelves in return for work. Jeremy Mercer tumbled into this literary rabbit hole and found a life of camaraderie with the other eccentric residents, and became, for a time, George Whitman's confidante and right-hand man. Time Was Soft There is one of the great stories of bohemian Paris and recalls the work of many writers who were bewitched by the City of Light in their youth. Jeremy's comrades include Simon, the eccentric British poet who refuses to give up his bed in the antiquarian book room, beautiful blonde Pia, who contributes the elegant spirit of Parisian couture to the store, the handsome American Kurt, who flirts with beautiful women looking for copies of Tropic of Cancer, and George himself, the man who holds the key to it all. As Time Was Soft There winds in and around the streets of Paris, the staff fall in and out of love, straighten bookshelves, host tea parties, drink in the more down-at-the-heels cafés, sell a few books, and help George find a way to keep his endangered bookstore open. Spend a few days with Jeremy Mercer at 37 Rue de la Bucherie, and discover the bohemian world of Paris that still bustles in the shadow of Notre Dame. "Jeremy Mercer has captured Shakespeare & Co. and its complicated owner, George Whitman, with remarkable insight. Time Was Soft There is a charming memoir about living in Whitman's Shakespeare & Co. and the strange, broken, lost, and occasionally talented, eccentrics and residents of this Tumblewood Hotel." ---Noel Riley Fitch, author of Sylvia Beach and the Lost Generation: A History of Literary Paris in the Twenties & Thirties "There does seem to be something about the odd ducks that work at bookstores. Jeremy Mercer has captured the story of a wonderful, unique store that could only be born out of a love for books and the written word." --- Liz Schlegel, the Book Revue bookshop, Huntington, New York

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84, Charing Cross Road

by Helene Hanff

About the book:  Correspondence between Helene Hanff and agents of Marks & Co., chiefly Frank Doel.

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Sixpence House

by Paul Collins

About the book:  "Sixpence House is the bookworm's answer to A Year in Provence." -Boston Globe Paul Collins and his family abandoned the hills of San Francisco to move to the Welsh countryside-to move, in fact, to the village of Hay-on-Wye, the "Town of Books" that boasts fifteen hundred inhabitants-and forty bookstores. Taking readers into a secluded sanctuary for book lovers, and guiding us through the creation of the author's own first book, Sixpence House becomes a heartfelt and often hilarious meditation on what books mean to us. A #1 BookSense Pick "A delightful book."-Los Angeles Times "Collins' gift is that you don't care where you end up. The journey is enough."-Readerville "The real, engaging heart of the tale is Collins' love of books and other people who love them...Collins muses on antiquarian books the way the rest of us remember lost loves."-San Francisco Chronicle "Funny, informative, somewhat chaotic and full of interesting references...there are numerous meanders into peripheral subjects, seen through the astute eyes of an Anglophile American."-Washington Post

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Living with Books

by Alan Powers

About the book:  Full of beautiful and colorful photos, this book addresses all aspects: storage, display, the use of books as structural elements and furniture.

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People of the Book

by Geraldine Brooks

About the book:  From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of "March" comes a novel--inspired by a true story--that traces the journey of a rare illuminated manuscript through centuries of exile and war.

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Shelf Life

by Ramsey Campbell,Charles De Lint,Harlan Ellison,Nina Kiriki Hoffman,Gene Wolfe,Jack Williamson

About the book:  A collection of stories -- science fiction, fantasy, and horror -- in which the bookstore is a character, a major component of the story, and/or a true motivating factor.

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The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap

by Wendy Welch

About the book:  An inspiring true story about losing your place, finding your purpose, and building a community one book at a time. Wendy Welch and her husband had always dreamed of owning a bookstore, so when they left their high-octane jobs for a simpler life in an Appalachian coal town, they seized an unexpected opportunity to pursue thier dream. The only problems? A declining U.S. economy, a small town with no industry, and the advent of the e-book. They also had no idea how to run a bookstore. Against all odds, but with optimism, the help of their Virginian mountain community, and an abiding love for books, they succeeded in establishing more than a thriving business - they built a community. The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap is the little bookstore that could: how two people, two cats, two dogs, and thirty-eight thousand books helped a small town find its heart. It is a story about people and books, and how together they create community.

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My Bookstore

by Ronald Rice

About the book:  In My Bookstore our favorite writers-from Elin Hilderbrand, to John Grisham, to Dave Eggers-express their adoration and admiration for their favorite bookstores and booksellers. The relationship between a writer and her local bookstore can last for years or even decades. Often it is the author's local store that supported her during the early days of her career and that works tirelessly to introduce her work to new readers. But authors are also readers and customers, just like us. For them, as for most of us, bookstores serve as the anchor for our communities, the place that introduces us to new ideas (and new neighbors), and that sets our children on the path to becoming lifelong readers and lovers of books. Brimming with original, deeply moving, funny, and exceedingly well-crafted tributes to bookstores, from Longfellow Books in Portland, Maine (Ron Currie, Jr.) to Powells City of Books in Portland, Oregon (Chuck Palahniuk) and everywhere in between, My Bookstore is a joyful celebration of our bricks-and-mortar stores and a clarion call to readers everywhere at a time when the value and importance of these stores should be shouted from the rooftops.

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Handwritten Recipes

by Michael Popek

About the book:  Leaf through your cookbooks, and you’re likely to find a bit of paper with a recipe written in a familiar (or not-so-familiar) hand. It could be a family secret finally divulged, a scribbled interpretation of something seen on TV, even a culinary experiment long since forgotten. What happens to these recipes when the books are passed on? By day, Michael Popek works in his family’s used bookstore. By night, he’s the voyeuristic force behind the websites ForgottenBookmarks and HandwrittenRecipes, where he shares the weird, wonderful objects he has found among the stacks at his store. Handwritten Recipes is a treasury of Michael’s most fascinating found recipes. You’ll find classic Americana like pies and casseroles alongside ethnic mainstays such as Italian cookies, springerle, and German dumplings. Some are perfectly clear and complete, while others leave crucial elements—like cooking times and ingredient measurements—to the reader’s imagination. You can venture to try any recipe, or just enjoy Popek’s findings as a time capsule from kitchens of generations gone by.

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Slightly Chipped

by Lawrence Goldstone,Nancy Goldstone

About the book:  Continuing the couple's love affair with book collecting that was first shared with readers in "Used and Rare, " the Goldstones get hooked on the correspondence and couplings of Bloomsbury, track down Bram Stoker's earliest notes for "Dracula, " and discover new places to buy rare tomes--meeting eccentric personalities along the way.

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Among the Gently Mad

by Nicholas A. Basbanes

About the book:  Offers a field guide to modern book collectors that covers both traditional and electronic methods of acquisition, discussing such topics as how to spot first or book club editions, working a book fair, dust jackets, and book handling. Reprint. 17,500 first printing.

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On the Books

by Greg Farrell

About the book:  "A David and Goliath story, On The Books is the first-hand comic strip account of the labor struggle at NYC's legendary Strand bookstore in the summer of 2012. Told by Greg Farrell--an employee of the store who interviewed numerous other members of the staff--the book examines the motives and actions of those involved, including the store, the staff, the union local, and the people of New York City, as understood by the author. Through interstitial comic portraits, Farrell gives voice to his comrades, who often share a nuance of the story that would have otherwise gone overlooked, and provide a depth of opinion and fairness to accompany Farrell's often very personal interpretation of events. In it's ten short chapters the book explores at once the inner workings of our national retail environment, the inner struggle to exist within it as a young working person, the current state of the book trade, and what happens when that no longer seems possible."--Publisher's website.

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