Blog

Tripfiction: Ten Books set in Bookshops

Tripfiction: Ten Books set in Bookshops

A list of ten books that feature bookshops by Tina Hartas - as we all know, the only thing better than a real book shop is a fictional one.

Posted on 2nd March 2016 by Tina Hartas

Walk into any bookshop around the world and a sense of calm descends… people browsing for their next read, enjoying a coffee whilst the choose, chatting to staff who can steer them in the direction of something suitable for their taste. It is the real skill of an author to bring that intangible, yet very strong ambience to life, not just the bookshops set in bricks and mortar, but all manner of housing. We bring together just a small selection of wonderful reads that are set in a variety of bookshops around the world.

 


The Storied Life of A J Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

A. J. Fikry, who owns Island Books in Martha’s Vineyard, is going through a rather hard time: his bookshop is failing, his wife has died, and a very special first edition has been stolen. One day he finds tiny Maya, only 2 years old, sitting on the floor, with a note asking that she be looked after. His life is changed forever.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

We join Monsieur Jean Perdu aboard his canal boat – his peniche – the Literary Apothecary, moored on the Seine. People visit him from far and wide to soothe their troubles through his recommended reads. He soon decides to head south along the waterways of France, and this is the charming story of his journey and the people he meets, and his search for a long lost love.

Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Clay used to be a web designer but now he is working in Mr Penumbra’s 24 hour bookstore on the night shift. He gradually becomes all too aware that this store is even more curious than he first thought – no-one seems to buy anything, but customers borrow incredibly strange and obscure tomes. A charming novel of mysterious books and dusty bookshops, with a magical, mystical feel: it is a perceptive and delightful love-letter to both the old book world and the new, set both in New York and San Francisco.

Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs by Jeremy Mercer

The author finds himself in a down phase of life, but finds a job at the legendary bookshop “Shakespeare and Co” in Paris This is his story of the people who come and go, the history, and the famous writers who have poured through the doors over the last century. Founded in 1921, it became the haunt of literary greats, such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and George Bernard Shaw and is now one of the must visit destinations for booklovers in Paris.

 

The Library of Shadows by Mikkel Birkegaard

When Luca Campelli dies a sudden and violent death, his son Jon inherits his second-hand bookshop, Libri di Luca, in Copenhagen.  Jon is unaware that it is the meeting place of a society of booklovers and readers, who still have immense power derived from the days of the great library of ancient Alexandria. A thriller to set a bookish heart racing.

 

The Little Bookshop on the Seine by Rebecca Raisin

Bookshop owner Sarah Smith has been offered the opportunity to exchange bookshops with her new Parisian friend for 6 months. Winter in Paris, eating croissants, drinking coffee, shopping and of course all the books one could possibly want. What’s not to like? A wonderful love story, with Paris as a stunningly evoked backdrop.

 

The Bookseller of Kabul by Åsne Seierstad

For more than twenty years Sultan Khan defied the authorities and continued to provide books for the residents in Kabul.  The author, very much an outsider, looks in on the city, the people and its customs, all set against the backdrop of a sadly derelict city.

 

The Shadow of the Wind by Carols Ruiz Zafón

A 'cemetery of lost books' is hidden in the heart of Barcelona, full of obscure and long forgotten titles. In 1945 Daniel, a young boy aged 10, is allowed to choose one book from the shelves, and decides upon 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax. As he grows up, he finds himself at the heart of a mystery, with the life of Carax at the heart, and even the devil appears in this a magically engrossing read.


84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

This book is the classic go-to read for books with a bookshop at the heart. A collection of exchanged letters, written over a twenty year period between the author, searching for books which she could not find in her home country and Frank Doel, an antiquarian bookseller in London. A written dialogue that is unique and touching,  between two people separated by an ocean.

 

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

1959. A small Suffolk town, Florence Green decides, despite determined opposition, to open a bookshop.

Fictional Hardborough becomes a veritable battleground as Fitzgerald brings to life the atmosphere of small town Britain in this novella, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize 1978.

 

by Tina Hartas for TripFiction 

Related books

Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs: the Left Bank World of Shakespeare and Co (Paperback)

Books, Baguettes and Bedbugs: the Left Bank World of Shakespeare and Co (Paperback)

Jeremy Mercer

Enchanting memoir of a struggling writer living and working in the eccentric Parisian bookshop, 'Shakespeare and Company'

£8.99
The Library of Shadows (Paperback)

The Library of Shadows (Paperback)

Mikkel Birkegaard




2 Reviews

When Luca Campelli dies a sudden and violent death, his son Jon inherits his second-hand bookshop, Libri di Luca, in Copenhagen. Jon has not seen his father for twenty years since the mysterious death of his mother. When Luca's death is followed by an arson attempt on the shop, Jon is forced to explore his family's past.

£7.99
84 Charing Cross Road - VMC 2473 (Paperback)

84 Charing Cross Road - VMC 2473 (Paperback)

Helene Hanff, Juliet Stevenson




1 Review

A timeless classic that should be on every book-lover's 'must read' list. First published in 1971, 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD has never been out of print.

£7.99
The Bookseller of Kabul (Paperback)

The Bookseller of Kabul (Paperback)

Asne Seierstad

* The international bestseller: 'An intimate portrait of Afghani people quite unlike any other ... a compelling read' Christina Lamb, SUNDAY TIMES

£8.99
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (Paperback)

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (Paperback)

Gabrielle Zevin




7 Reviews

Originally published as The Collected Works of A. J. Fikry. The little book with the big heart - the New York Times bestseller that has won passionate fans around the world.

£7.99
The Shadow of the Wind (Paperback)

The Shadow of the Wind (Paperback)

Carlos Ruiz Zafon




40 Reviews

A stunning literary thriller in the tradition of Umberto Eco. The discovery of a forgotten book leads to a hunt for an elusive author who may or may not still be alive...

£8.99 £6.99
Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Paperback)

Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Paperback)

Robin Sloan




19 Reviews

A New York Times bestseller, Mr Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore is an entirely charming and lovable first novel of mysterious books and dusty bookshops; it is a witty and delightful love-letter to both the old book world and the new.

£8.99
The Bookshop (Paperback)

The Bookshop (Paperback)

Penelope Fitzgerald, David Nicholls




1 Review

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Part of our Rediscovered Classics series, this was our selection for September 2016. In a small East Anglian town, Florence Green decides, against polite but ruthless local opposition, to open a bookshop.

£8.99
The Little Paris Bookshop (Paperback)

The Little Paris Bookshop (Paperback)

Nina George, Simon Pare




12 Reviews

The international bestseller THE LITTLE PARIS BOOKSHOP is a delightful, bittersweet tale about the distance one man will travel for the sake of love and friendship.

£8.99 £6.74