Publisher: Constable and Robinson
Release Date: 2nd October 2014
Edition: UK hardback, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops, More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops
Every bookshop has a story.
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 railway stations.
From the oldest bookshops in the world, to the smallest you could imagine, The Bookshop Book explores the history of books, talks to authors about their favourite places, and looks at more than three hundred weirdly wonderful bookshops across six continents. (Sadly, we’ve yet to build a bookshop in the South Pole.)
This book is a love letter to bookshops all around the world.
I fell head over heels in love with The Bookshop Book. It’s an ode to books, bookshops, readers and writers and has made me want to spend an entire week trawling through all of the books I’ve always meant to pop in and visit.
Even telling the stories of beloved, interesting, ingenious and mad-cap bookshops all over the world, the format of The Bookshop Book could have been a little tiring, but Jen Capbell made sure that reading this book was just as exciting as discovering a second-hand bookshops and all its nooks and crannies. Scattered between the stories of Foyles, Shakespeare and Company and Powell’s are tidbits of information on the shops that didn’t quite make it into the full features, called Some Wonderful Things, the joy of those places is still shouted form the rooftops; facts about book binding, bookselling, famous authors and famous readers crop up every now and again and testimonies and stories from customers, shop owners and authors provide a real-life glimpse into some of the place talked about in The Bookshop Book.
Jen Campbell’s love of being in a bookshop and falling in love with them is evident throughout and it’s infectious. I’ve always loved them myself, and always will, but reading this, besides making me extremely happy, has made me intent of exploring many of the famous bookshops in London that I’ve heard loads about but never got around to visiting. I also have a renewed conviction to travel to Paris for Shakespeare and Company, Portland for Powell’s, California for The Last Bookstore and NYC for The Strand. A world tour visiting all the places mentioned in this book is fast becoming my new daydream...
But what I loved most was the stories of the people that have founded, owned, worked and loved the bookshops of these pages. The time, money, love and dedication that goes into running a bookshop for book lovers in immense, and it shows in them. I especially loved it when real-life love stories came from these places – they are novel-worthy stories in themselves most of the time!
The Bookshop Book is a treasure for book lovers and I can definitely see why it was made the book of Books Are My Bag 2014, and I’m glad it was my 125th book of the year, too. A fitting way to win my Goodreads Challenge for this year!
Thanks to Constable and Robinson for the review copy!