5 Comforting Reads That Celebrate ‘Love at a Bookstore’

Bookstores, a world within a world, are, for many, sacred sanctuaries that offer solace and sincere fellowship. They are those special spaces where one can escape all else and truly take pleasure in the pure beauty of remarkable literature and its many wonderful physical forms. This is where we take the ones we love, where we find the ones we’d love, and where we lovingly make ourselves at home. To celebrate the romance of bookstores, we have compiled a list of tender novels that carefully capture all the magic that can be found in such places.

Days at the Morisaki Bookshop by Satoshi Yagisawa

When 25-year-old Takako’s boyfriend leaves her to marry another, she begrudgingly accepts her uncle’s offer to move into a free room above a beloved ancestral bookstore. Set in Tokyo’s real-life ‘book town’, “Jimbocho”, Yagisawa’s fictional Morisaki Bookstore represents the best of what loving literature means and what books can do for weary souls. A refuge for those seeking companionship, Morisaki is almost an independent entity in the novel, offering succour to all who visit, and is evidence of the long-staying power of such sanctified spaces. Poignant, profound and revelatory, this comforting read is a treat for all those who understand what it is to need to go to a bookstore to find peace and joy.

The Door-to-Door Bookstore by Carsten Sebastian Henn

A resounding tale of love, friendship and the communities built through books, Carsten Sebastian Henn’s “The Door-To-Door Bookstore” is a luminous feel-good novel that is worth curling up with. Following the charming and heart-warming friendship between a 9-year-old girl and an elderly door-to-door bookseller Kollhoff, the novel takes us through the myriad of twists and turns that reaffirm our faith in humanity and remind us of the power of community and stories in emboldening the human spirit. A book written for all, with a story that would magically comfort all alike.

What You Are Looking for is in the Library by Michiko Aoyama

Recommended reading with the power to softly transform one’s life, Aoyama’s “What You Are Looking for is in the Library” is a moving tale of love and growth that works as a panacea. Enigmatic and oracular librarian Sayuri Komachi has read every book at the library and can mystically read all those who come in. With each surprising, unexpected and perfect book recommendation, she unwittingly shapes and miraculously changes the lives of the library’s borrowers. A celebration of book-giving, book-lending and book-recommending, this kind-hearted novel makes for a warm and delightful read.

Ex Libris: Confessions Of A Common Reader by Anne Fadiman

An intelligent and riveting collection of 18 essays that portray Anne Fadiman’s long-time affair with literature and language, “Ex Libris” is a confessio of the best kind. Selected from her “Common Reader” column, the essays range across a variety of topics: from the idiosyncrasies found in a couple’s shared library to the secret habit of inscribing along the margins of books, detailing the minutiae of the big-wide-world of book-reading and loving.

Bookshop of the Broken Hearted by Robert Hillman

Hillman’s historical romance is for all those who are familiar with love, loss and the great lengths we take to make the ones we cherish happy. Set in the significant context of Auschwitz, the novel features simple and quiet farmer Tom Hope and his friendship with new-in-town starry-eyed bookseller Hannah Babel. A transfixing tale told with tenderness, Hillman’s “Bookshop of the Broken Hearted” is an accomplishment in writing complex, rich and extremely lovable characters.

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