Bookshops aren’t just places where you go to buy books. They are a world unto themselves. Within the four walls and numerous racks of those bookshops lie hundreds and thousands of stories, characters and plots that can keep a reader hooked for every waking hour.
But it’s not just the books that give bookshops a life. The goings on inside the bookshops themselves can keep the avid reader hooked. Here are seven such books that are set in bookshops that involve everything from World War II struggles to murder mysteries to the love of books.
The Wartime Bookshop by Lesley Eames
A delightful wartime saga about a young girl – Alice – making a difference in her new village. This is a story that illustrates how kindness and refusing to give up can change so much.
The book follows Alice who has just moved to the village of Churchwood at the start of WWII. Along the way she meets Kate, who lives with her family on Brimbles Farm and is shunned by the locals. All she longs for is a friend of her own. And then there is Naomi, who owns the best house in the village, but she carries the hurts of childlessness, a husband who has little time for her and some deep rooted insecurities.
Can the war effort and a shared love of books bring these women and Churchwood together?
A Chapter on Murder by Sue Minix
It’s Christmas. Crime-novelist-turned-amateur sleuth Jen is busy drumming up business for Riddleton’s local bookstore – Ravenous Readers.
At the same time, she’s trying to finish her latest novel. Things are chaotic at their best.
Just when things couldn’t get any more over-the-top, a man’s body is found outside the store. In his pocket is a scrap of paper with Jen’s address on it.
Jen must solve the murder to clear her own name and once again become Riddleton’s best detective. But time is short. Can Jen catch the killer, finish her novel and ensure a big festive season for Ravenous Readers before time runs out?
The Holiday Bookshop by Lucy Dickens
One woman. One island. A bookshop in need of revival.
Jenny isn’t much of a risk-taker but has said yes to a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and accepted the role of a bookseller at a beach resort in the Maldives. The twist: The resort bookshop is far from thriving and the management are threatening closure. Can Jenny throw her rulebook to the wind and turn things around before it’s too late? Is there a happy ending in store for her?
In Praise of Good Bookstores by Jeff Deutsch
This beautifully written book asks the question: Do we need bookstores in the twenty-first century? If so, what makes a good one? Deutsch, while talking about bookstores considers how qualities like space, time, abundance, and community find expression in a good bookstore. Along the way, he also predicts–perhaps audaciously–a future in which the bookstore not only endures, but realizes its highest aspirations.
Central among Deutsch’s arguments for the necessity of bookstores is the incalculable value of browsing. In the age of one-click shopping, this is no ordinary defense of bookstores, but rather an urgent account of why they are essential places of discovery, refuge, and fulfillment.
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald
Florence Green, a kindhearted widow, uses up her small inheritance to open the first and only bookshop in the seaside town of Hardborough and makes a success out of it. But her success isn’t appreciated by some people. Florence’s warehouse leaks, her cellar seeps, and the shop is apparently haunted. Only too late does she begin to suspect the truth: a town that lacks a bookshop isn’t always a town that wants one.
Once Upon a Tome by Oliver Darkshire
Oliver Darkshire intended to work at Sotheran’s for a year as a bookselling apprentice and then move on to some other gig. Unfortunately for him, the alluring smell of old books and the temptation of a management-approved afternoon nap proved irresistible. Soon he was balancing teetering stacks of first editions, fending off nonagenarian widows with a ten-foot pole and trying not to upset the store’s resident ghost (the late Mr Sotheran had unfinished business when he was hit by that tram). At times unhinged, Once Upon a Tome is a colourful story of life in one of the world’s oldest bookshops. It is also a love letter to the benign, unruly world of antiquarian bookselling.
Shelf Aware: A Love Affair With Books by V. R. Ferose
‘Gently mad’ bibliophile Ferose understands books and has devoured them with unmitigated enthusiasm. For him, reading is more than a weekend pursuit or a hobby on steroids. It has been a lifestyle – generously peppered with serendipitous first edition finds and deliberate in-store title hunting – of which he keeps meticulous notes.
Shelf Aware is a book that every Indian bibliophile should have a copy of in their collection.
Pick up any or all of the books on bookstores from any Kunzum store or WhatsApp +91.8800200280 to order. Buy the book(s) and the coffee’s on us.