ENGLEWOOD — As February rolls around we’re going to talk about bookstores. Bookstores took a hit in the 2000s because eBooks started to take a market share away from printed books. However, things have changed.
According to American Booksellers Association the number of U.S. bookstores have increased 35 percent since then. This increase was attributed to the buy local movement and consumers looking for interactive experiences at local stores. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to share some books that are about bookstores.
Diane Setterfield: The NY Times said her book, “The Thirteenth Tale,” is an exquisite novel. It all begins with a letter that Margaret Lea finds as she was closing the door and putting the bookstore keys behind “The Advanced Principles of Geometry.” No one has wanted that fat grey book for thirty years. As Margaret digs deeper, two parallel stories unfold and the tale she uncovers sheds a disturbing light on her own life. Diane is a British author and has sold over three million copies of this book. Her next book, “Once Upon a River,” will be coming out in early 2019. Trust me, Diane will keep you guessing, make you wonder and move you to tears and laughter.
John Grisham: His book, “Camino Island,” was his 30th novel. He and his wife dreamed up the idea on a drive to their beach house in Florida. A gang of thieves stage a daring heist from a secure vault deep below Princeton University’s Firestone Library. The loot is priceless and it was insured for twenty-five million dollars. Enter Bruce Cable who owns a popular bookstore in the sleepy town of Santa Rosa on Camino Island in Florida. He makes his real money as a dealer in rare books. Very few people know he occasionally dabbles in the black market of stolen books. There is trouble in paradise as only Grisham can deliver it. The NY Times Book Review said it succinctly, “John Grisham is about as good a story teller as we’ve got in the United States these days.”
Penelope Fitzgerald: She is an English prize-winning novelist and is included on the list of the 50 greatest British writers since 1945. In her book, “The Bookshop,” Florence Green, a kindhearted widow with a small inheritance, risks everything to own a bookstore. By making a success of her business she incites the hostility of the town’s less prosperous shopkeepers. Only too late does she suspect the truth — a town that lacks a bookstore isn’t always a town that wants one. “The Bookshop” was published when Fitzgerald was sixty-one when she announced her arrival on the literary scene. Sadly, she passed away in April 2000 at the age of 83.
Deborah Meyler: Simon and Schuster said about her book, “The Bookstore,” that it’s a witty, sharply observed debut about a young women who finds unexpected salvation while working in a quirky used bookstore in Manhattan. Esme Garland is a young British women who was studying art history in New York. She loves her apartment, the city and her boyfriend. Her future couldn’t be brighter until she finds she is pregnant. Gabrielle Donnelly, author of “The Little Women Letters,” said, “This is a gorgeous book, witty, lyrical and bursting with heart. When you finish it you will be smiling and wondering what happened next.”
These are just a few of the literally hundreds of books about bookshops. Yes, everyone still loves books and the independent bookstore. How fun is it to start a young person on a path of reading. People come into our store, breathe in, and say, “Yes this is what a bookstore smells like.” The next best thing is helping people to pick out books. If you’re so inclined, we encourage you to follow the Booksellers of America Instagram (instagram.com/booksellersofamerica) and also Facebook (facebook.com/booksellersofamerica). Happy February reading, everyone!