When I was in D.C. a couple of weeks ago I posted about a bookstore that I found called Bridge Street Books. There, I bought a book called The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley. Surprisingly, it’s about a bookstore… I had never heard of this book before I found it on the shelf in Bridge Street Books, but it looked interesting, so I thought I would give it a try. I was surprised that it was written in 1919. The main character, Roger Mifflin, is the hero of another book, Parnassus on Wheels, and his bookshop is the setting for The Haunted Bookshop. It has recently come to my attention that bookstores are popular subject matter for books. Really it makes quite a bit of sense because anyone who wants to read a book or a book about a bookshop generally is going to like reading, or bookstores, or adventures.
It is almost surprising how many novels are written about or with books in mind. The Book Thief, The Thirteenth Tale, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookshop, The Jane Austen Book Club, Fahrenheit 451. And those are only the ones I can think of off the top of my head. Goodreads has a list of 46 books on its “Books about Bookstores” list. As you may have gathered from recent posts, I have a thing for bookstores. Especially second-hand bookshops and independent bookstores. There is just something so personal about them. When I went to Bouquiniste in St. Andrews, I asked the proprietor what I should read. He asked me what I liked and I told him I wanted to read everything. He gave me Rudyard Kipling and Joseph Conrad. He also gave me a discount because he said I am just starting out. I am not going to get that in a big bookstore or online. Perhaps in a library (more on how I never thought about the animosity between bookstores and libraries before later), I would get sound advice, but a bookstore is a unique thing.
Anyway, The Haunted Bookshop is so far more enchanting than haunting– I will do a review when I finish. Hope you all are having a lovely start to September. I can’t believe I am back in school, but I am excited. Lots to do– stay tuned!