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.
There is a saying that seeing someone reading a book that you like is almost like a book recommending a person. Something similar can be said about this book. Reading the words of someone who seems to love books and indeed bookshops as much as Jen Campbell seems to is like the book recommending her to me as an author and fellow bibliophile.
It has been an awfully long time since I have read a book that has filled me with such a feeling of nostalgia. This is pretty strange because I have yet to frequent any of the bookshops mentioned in The Bookshop Book…although several of them have now made it to my bucket list.
The Bookshop Book celebrates the longevity and lasting love of bookshops and how they not only encourage but also nurture future readers whilst also being a safe haven for people – whether they be first time mums, pensioners, students etc.
I suppose what is special about this book is that it reminds us of our own bookshop/reading stories. I was fortunate to come from a home where I was read to every night by my mother and that instilled a love of reading in me that has carried on into my thirties.
Reading is a tangible, loving experience which we often take for granted and in a society which has extremely low literacy rates and that has libraries being closed down constantly The Bookshop Book reminds us to treasure our local booksellers.
The Bookshop Book is a gorgeous read filled with historical detail and heart-warming tales from booksellers. It is a must for any book lover.
The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell is available now.