320 pages ~ ★★★★☆ ~ Hardback
In a nutshell, The Bookshop Book is a global tour of bookshops and has made me desperate to go and explore which really isn’t helping towards my goal of reading through all the unread books I already have! I am quite guilty of defaulting to Amazon for all my book purchases, something I’ve been trying to cut back on but this has really made me think harder about that and the impact all those purchases are having on smaller booksellers.
Broken up with bookish facts and photos we’re taken around the world via historic, interesting and unusual bookshops and the stories of their owners and hear from a multitude of authors throughout speak about their relationship with bookshops.
Most of the time books are one of the few things that keeps me away from my phone but with this one, while reading the UK portion at least, I found myself constantly googling the bookshops Jen mentions to check if they’re still going. This was written back in 2014, so, for example, the bookshop based on a barge around 20mins from my parents house I’d been blissfully unaware of; Jen mentions the owners aim is to use the barge to travel the bookshop and possibly go to France – cut to 2020 and she’s living that dream, which is amazing but unfortunately means no barge-based book buying for me next time I’m in the Midlands. On the flipside I’m now looking forward to visiting a small bookshop in a nearby village next time we have a free weekend.
At the time of writing Jen, now a full time free lance writer, was still working in a bookshop so really is an expert in everything she covers in this. It is very UK heavy which is unsurprising given that’s where the author is based so I’d recommend this more if you live in the UK or if you’re thinking of visiting this would be a great way to discover some hidden book-themed destinations.
Do you prefer to visit bookshops or shop online? Do you think scrolling a webpage will ever replace browsing shelves for books that catch your eye?