The Eight Best Books With All The Bookshop Vibes

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COVID has extended out our timeline for opening the bookshop, unfortunately.  Plans are still underway, but the physical shop is going to wait longer than originally anticipated.  

I dream of the moment that I can run my hand down all the shelves in the shop, and organize the books in a way that makes sense to me only (Sorry- not sorry- future customers 😀 ).  

Our collective dream has been so long in the making, I have been reaching for books about bookshops recently that give me some of the magic vibes that first inspired us to start writing business plans.

Most of these books are fairly quick reads; you voracious readers out there may even finish in one day!  Every book listed below has at least one quote about books and reading that makes my heart sing and my purse lighter as I strive to acquire more and more books.

The 8 Best Books That Get Me Excited About Our Bookshop

Jenny Colgan

This book is actually the 2nd in the series, but can easily  be a standalone novel.  

Zoe is a single mom with a special needs child who needs a lucky break in her life.  After being evicted from her London apartment, she answers an ad to become a Nanny in the Scottish Highlands to three obstinate children  AND help out the local mobile bookseller, Nina, who is pregnant and needs some help working the Book Van.

A little bit of “The Sound of Music” but with books, all the books! 

Books are absolutely the thing in my opinion, or as the old saying goes: whatever gets you through the night (which I should say is also books. Books get you through the night)

Jenny Colgan

Nina George

I recommend this book with reservations.  I loved the premise of the book boat and the literary apothecary, but didn’t enjoy the second half of the book.  Many many other people have  found meaning in this story, so just because I didn’t love the tale doesn’t mean that you won’t.  

Monsieur Jean Perdu is a 50-year-old Paris Bookseller with his Book Boat, The Literary Apothecary.  He is known as the Literary Pharmacist as he can sell the perfect books to his customers who most need them.  As much as he strives to help other people with their lives, his own life has been on hold since his tragic love affair ended 20 years ago.  He reads a letter written by his lover 20 years ago, and it sets him and The Literary Apothecary on a journey across the rivers of France to search for forgiveness. 

There are books that are suitable for a million people, others for only hundred. There even remedies --I mean books --that were written for only one person...A book is both medic and medicine at once. It makes a diagnosis as well as offering therapy

Nina George

Veronica Henry

Julius Nightingale, the renowned Bookseller of Nightingale Books for 30+ years, passes away leaving his only daughter, Emilia, determine to run the bookshop and turn it profitable.  His (now her) customers are family, and Emilia can’t imagine selling the bookshop even as multiple investors are circling like vultures.  Such a heartwarming tale and gives me all the good vibes that I want in our future shop.

After all, a town without a bookshop was a town without a heart

Veronica Henry​

Susan Wiggs

Another book of love and loss, Susan Wiggs writes a captivating tale of what do you do if you have to start over? After she’s faced with a terrible tragedy, Natalie leaves her life behind and moves back to San Francisco to manage her mother’s cash-strapped bookstore and care for her grandfather who is ailing. The bookstore is in more trouble than she thought and keeping it open is going to take some magic… and a certain handyman.

I’ve always believed there’s something magical about a book. A bundle of paper and ink that can change your life.

Susan Wiggs

Rebecca Raisin

A light, quick read about an introverted secondhand bookseller, Sarah Smith, from Connecticut who is given the opportunity for a 6-month Bookshop Swap with her friend’s Famous Bookshop in Paris. 

Small town girl in the big city with a little bit of romance thrown in.

My to-be-read pile sadly would most likely outlive me - though I tried valiantly to catch up with it, I'd never get there. The allure of new books, new writers, characters who beckoned to me would never wane

Rebecca Raisin​

Nora Roberts

While this book is technically about refurbishing an old hotel by three brothers and the ghost that lives with it, the main character of Book #1, Clare, opened a bookshop in town after her husband passed away in the Iraq War. 

Reading about her bookshop located in a historic building with a cute coffee shop and a little children’s section, sigh… that is the dream right there. 

She’d thought then, and knew now, the store had saved her. Without it, without the pressure, the work, the focus, she might have shattered and dissolved in those months after Clint’s death and before Murphy’s birth.

Nora Roberts

Abbi Waxman

The introverted Nina Hill has the perfect life with her little apartment full of books and her job at Knight’s, the local bookstore.  She isn’t fond of adventure and would rather spend her days curled up with a book.  One day, a lawyer appears at her door with the news that her absent father has died and she has a huge family that she never knew; which means she has to meet…. strangers.  Add in a little bit of romance and you have the perfect book.

Abbi Waxman managed to create a character that feels like a reflection of myself.

Nina had looked around and realized she would never run out of things to read, and that certainty filled her with peace and satisfaction. It didn't matter what hit the fan; as long as there were unread books in the world, she would be fine.

Abbi Waxman

Cath Crowly

Henry is on the cusp of adulthood as his family makes the difficult decision to consider selling their secondhand bookstore “Howling Books”.  The bookshop contains a famous “letter library” that people leave letters, notes, poems in between the pages of books.  

Henry’s old best friend, Rachel, has moved back to town after failing the 12th grade.  She is a different, angrier person from three years ago after losing her brother to the sea. She is semi-forced into a new job to catalog the letter library before the bookshop is sold and is faced with her unrequited love on a daily basis.  

This is such a beautiful tale of love and loss that every bibliophile would love.

And I love you. I love that you read. I love that you love secondhand books. I love pretty much everything about you

Cath Crowly

In every book listed above, the bookshop wasn’t just a retail store.  It was a place that friends, family, the community got together and shared their collective love of reading.  The store itself wasn’t the focus of the story, but it is where the story happened.  It gave space for the ideas to unfold and that is exactly what we want our physical Alchemy Bookshop to do for our community.

What is your favorite book about books and bookshops?

-Alice

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