‘The Bookshop Book’ by Jen Campbell (Constable & Robinson) Yes, I worked in a book department during my university years and I loved reading this book. Basically it’s about great bookshops around the world – what makes them unique and what clever services they offer. For those of us who have spent COUNTLESS hours (not to mention money) in bookshops, this is mandatory reading. Ranging from a bookshop that has Harry Potter areas under the stairs where children can go to listen to audiobooks and Borrowers homes under floorboards for customers to see, a bookshop that has an ice-cream shop attached and each time they host an author a new ice-cream flavor is named after them, a sci-fi bookshop that get their customers to vote for an out-of-print sci-fi book each month and the brings it back to print, a bookshop that gets outside experts in each field to chose the best books in that topic (love this idea!), displays of all rabbit-related books for children in one section with a live rabbit in a hutch, a bookshop where you can order your meal from any recipe in the cookbook section, lectures and book quests based on books, a mobile bookshop that visits to your door and my favourite – where bookshops invite their customers to have a one-to-one sit down over tea or coffee and they create a bespoke reading list – BLISS! Who knew that part of the M6 road in UK is made out of pulped Mills and Boon novels or that Joanne Harris, author of ‘Chocolat’, was born in a sweet shop? The great former Library of Alexandria was enhanced by confiscating all books on every ship coming into the port, the books were taken to the library to be copied, the originals kept and the copies returned to the ships! The WWII ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster found at the bottom of a box of books bought in 2000 setting off a craze and how Wendy was a boy’s name until J.M. Barrie made it popular for girls in ‘Peter Pan’ in 1904. Read this book – you won’t be sorry!
Read my interview with Jen Campbell here.
Thanks to the wonderfully talented Jennifer Soo for the beautiful photo.