Friday, February 28, 2014

A Novel Bookstore or My Life in Books

Imagine that you were given the task of compiling a list of "must read" books! What would you choose? This is the task given to a group of bibliophiles in Laurence Cossés book, A Novel Bookstore. 
The novel, of course, is a literary mystery translated from French by Allison Anderson.
A bookstore in Boston

When some of the individuals, who do not know the identities of the other group members, are attacked, the authors of the scheme to create a "perfect" bookstore impervious to publisher's hype recount the tale to a French detective. Who is trying to kill the great bibliophiles of France?

I have not finished the book and I will give you no spoilers but I recommend this as a read for bibliophiles everywhere. It was recommended to me by a bookseller in Fairhaven, a small village suburb of Bellingham, Washington. You might like to browse at Village Books and have a bowl of their delicious soup.

Whenever I travel, I visit every independent bookstore that I find. I look for local authors, some well known, some obscure. Occasionally, I purchase a small book of poetry as a keepsake. Bookmarks are small souvenirs to carry home.

I started my reading life as a "bookworm" at an early age. I loved historical fiction and mysteries. I still do! I loved faraway places and other times! A daydreamer and a bit of a romantic! I found that literature existed in languages other than English. What a concept!

As a Canadian with a French great-grandparent and a romantic, French literature became my passion. I'm not sure what my younger self thought that I would do with a Bachelor's degree in French Literature but I have one.

A Novel Bookstore, is not, I warn you, a fast-moving tale. It is rather a slow-moving work to be enjoyed by other bibliophiles.  It is a tale of the love of literature and of the book selling business. As a former??? bookworm who has worked in an independent bookstore owned by a Swiss bookseller, for a wholesale French book company, and in public and educational libraries, I recommend this novel.
And for any concerned young students out there, yes, there are interesting jobs for book lovers!

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