Publisher: Constable and Robinson
Published: 16th October 2014
Pages: 256 Pages
We’re not talking about rooms that are just full of books.
We’re talking about bookshops in barns, disused factories, converted churches and underground car parks. Bookshops on boats, on buses, and in old run-down train stations. Fold-out bookshops, undercover bookshops, this-is-the-best-place-I’ve-ever-been-to-bookshops.
Meet Sarah and her Book Barge sailing across the sea to France; meet Sebastien, in Mongolia, who sells books to herders of the Altai mountains; meet the bookshop in Canada that’s invented the world’s first antiquarian book vending machine.
And that’s just the beginning.
From the oldest bookshop in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book examines the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at over two hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents (sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop down in the South Pole).
The Bookshop Book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.
I’d like to start by saying that The Bookshop Book is a book lovers dream – it’s 256 pages full of great information about bookshops from around the world.
When I first thought about reading this book I was a little apprehensive because I had visions of it just being a great big list, a bit like a directory, and that would be that. However, it’s so much more! Yes it lists different bookshops, but each has its own little story including how it began, what books they sell, and also all about their customers. Plus, you even have brief interviews with authors and literary greats – that was a nice touch.
The Bookshop Book made me have such strong positive emotions and the main feeling was always love. Just reading all the stories about how bookshops made people feel was inspiring; there’s so many memories that come out of books and reading. It got me thinking back to when I first held a book and where the passion started. My Nan got me into reading and I’m so grateful she did because I love it and it makes me so content. She took me to the library most weekends (even weekdays after school) and we’d both read for hours – she crime novels and me (probably) Jacqueline Wilson and after that they say ‘the rest is history’.
My favourite bookshop from the lists was The Book Barge owned by Sarah Henshaw. How amazing would it be to float around on a barge delivering the gift of books? VERY cool, that’s what! It just makes you realise that anything is possible and if you want to set up a bookshop you most definitely can, there’s no restriction on location or building.